Tigers eliminate USC Upstate with 8-0 run-rule win

CUTrevor 2024-05-18 20:06:13

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Clemson Tigers battled through a weather delay to secure an 8-0 run-rule victory in the elimination game against USC Upstate. With the victory, Clemson moves to 35-18 on the year, while USC Upstate concludes its year with a 30-23 overall record.

Senior Regan Spencer earned her 11th victory of the season throwing 5.0 innings with five strikeouts. She faced 18 batters and allowed only two hits without conceding a walk for the 14th time this year.

As the designated visitors, Clemson came up to the plate first. McKenzie Clark and Alex Brown drew back-to-back walks, but USC Upstate picked up three quick outs to end the inning and force Clemson to leave two stranded. In the bottom half of the frame, the Spartans got one runner on, but for the second-consecutive day, junior catcher Aby Vieira made the throw down to second to catch the runner attempting to steal to keep things even at 0-0 and end the inning.

The Tigers got on the board in the top of the fourth inning after freshman Julia Knowler led off the inning with a walk. She was replaced by Kennedy Ariail as a pinch runner, who advanced to third on two ground outs. Redshirt senior Arielle Oda recorded a single, her second hit of the day, into shallow left center to plate Ariail and give Clemson a 1-0 lead.

Clemson pushed its lead further in the top of the fifth after Brown led off with a double into left field, and junior Maddie Moore followed with a double into left center to score Brown. This was Moore’s 38th RBI of the season, and Brown’s 43rd run scored. Knowler kept things going in the fifth with two outs by reaching on a fielding error by USC Upstate’s first baseman that allowed Moore to round third and score to make it 3-0 after five.

Lightning made an appearance in the top of the sixth inning that halted action for roughly three hours. When the Tigers returned to the field, Oda was on first after being hit by a pitch to bring Clark to the plate with no outs. Clark drove the second pitch she saw down the left field line for a double to put runners on second and third. Brown followed with a single up the middle to score Oda. Moore added her second RBI of the day with a sac fly to center field that scored Clark.

The Tigers continued to push things offensively with Lindsey Garcia notching a single through the right side to score Brown, who advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch. Julia Bomhardt, who was running for Garcia, and Julia Knowler, who reached on a walk, advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and were brought home on a double down the line by Alia Logoleo to make it 8-0 for the Tigers midway through the sixth.

Millie Thompson entered the circle for Clemson in the bottom of the sixth and needed only 10 pitches to close out the game for the Tigers. She struck out two and fielded a grounder to close out the 8-0 run-rule victory.

The Tigers advance to play Southeastern Louisiana in a rematch of the Tuscaloosa Regional opening game at 8:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+.