Under the twilight sky in Clearwater, Florida, the Clemson Tigers, ranked No. 5/7, engaged in a tense battle against the Indiana Hoosiers, ultimately clinching a hard-fought 3-2 victory. This win not only propels Clemson to a perfect 2-0 start for the season but also marks a significant milestone, securing the program’s 156th victory. Junior Millie Thompson showcased her pitching prowess to secure her inaugural win, while Valerie Cagle, a versatile contributor, notched a crucial save and added two hits alongside freshman Julia Knowler, solidifying Clemson’s dominance.
Early Momentum Shifts:
• Indiana took an early lead in the first inning with a leadoff home run, but Clemson’s defense held strong, preventing further runs.
• In the second inning, Clemson threatened to strike back with runners on base, but failed to capitalize.
Clemson Takes Control:
• Knowler’s two-RBI double in the third inning propelled Clemson into the lead after Alex Brown and Valerie Cagle set the table.
• Indiana managed to tie the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning with an unearned run.
Climactic Fifth Inning:
• Cagle regained the lead for Clemson with an RBI single in the top of the fifth, driving in Brown.
• Cagle then entered the circle and secured three quick outs in the bottom half of the inning, including two strikeouts, maintaining the Tigers’ 3-2 advantage.
Late Drama and Defensive Excellence:
• Clemson attempted to extend their lead in the seventh inning but left runners stranded.
• The Tigers’ defense executed their first double play of the season in the final inning, extinguishing Indiana’s hopes of a comeback.
• Cagle sealed the victory with a decisive strikeout, showcasing Clemson’s resilience under pressure.
Thompson started in the circle and pitched four innings with two strikeouts to secure her win, while Cagle capped off the evening with six total strikeouts, highlighting Clemson’s pitching depth.
Clemson’s weekend continues with two challenging matchups scheduled for Saturday. They face off against Liberty at noon and then take on No. 15 Oregon at 7 p.m., with both games available for fans to follow via various platforms.