Clemson softball’s Valerie Cagle (RHP/UTL) and McKenzie Clark (OF) have been named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2022 Preseason All-ACC Team, the league office announced Wednesday. Both Cagle and Clark were 2021 All-ACC First Team selections at the conclusion of last season. Additionally, the Tigers were predicted to finish second in the ACC standings, according to the league’s head coaches.
Cagle returns to the 2022 roster after dominating as a redshirt freshman in 2021. After starting all 52 games last season, including 32 in the circle, Cagle became the first softball player in ACC history to earn both Freshman and Player of the Year honors in the same season. Cagle was a NFCA Second Team All-American and a JWOS First Team All-American after posting a 1.16 ERA with 267 strikeouts from the circle. She also led the Tigers with a .404 average and .821 slugging percentage with 45 RBI, 43 runs scored and 17 home runs. The Yorktown, Va. native finished in the Top-25 in the NCAA in eight different categories and led the ACC in six including: slugging percentage, runs batted in, home runs, total bases, ERA and saves. She earned ACC Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors four times last season and was the NFCA Player of the Week twice after throwing two no-hitters in a single week. In other preseason rankings, Cagle has been tabbed the No. 6 player on the Extra Elite 100 list by Extra Inning Softball and No. 19 on Softball America’s Preseason College Top 100 list. Earlier today, Cagle was named to the 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List.
Clark was Clemson’s leadoff hitter last season and returns for her sophomore season after exploding into the collegiate softball world in 2021. As a freshman, Clark was named to the NFCA All-Region Southeast Second Team and was an All-ACC Freshman selection after starting in every game. The Myakka City, Fla. native maintained a .355 batting average with 47 runs scored and 29 RBI, while leading the Tigers with 23 stolen bases and six triples while posting a .639 slugging percentage. Clark led the ACC in runs scored and was eighth in the NCAA in triples.
Clemson will kickstart the 2022 campaign with an open scrimmage on Saturday, Feb. 5 at noon. This will be fans only opportunity to see the Tigers in McWhorter Stadium prior to the 2022 season getting underway on Feb. 10 in Fort Myers, Fla. at the FGCU Kickoff Classic. Clemson will be on the road for the first 11 games of the season before returning for its home opener on Friday, Feb. 25 against Boston University at 2:30 p.m. Season tickets are sold out, but a limited number of single-game tickets for home games will go on sale to IPTAY members on Feb. 1 and to the general public on Feb. 3.
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