Tigers Lose to Dawgs in Athens

ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 16/15 Clemson softball team dropped a close battle to the No. 17/21 Georgia Bulldogs, 3-2, on Wednesday evening at the Jack Turner Softball Stadium in Athens. Following the game, Clemson falls to 19-9 on the season as the Bulldogs improve to 27-4.
Box Score | Box Score (PDF)
“My heart really hurts for our team right now,” said head coach John Rittman. “We aren’t getting the breaks we need in some of these innings, but we continue to fight. We continue to believe, and as long as we are doing that, we’re going to have a chance. Georgia has one of the most explosive offenses we have seen all season, and Valerie (Cagle) did an amazing job in the circle.
Good teams capitalize on errors. We’ve done it in games, and Georgia did it tonight against us. We made a couple of little mistakes that cost us the game. Our team is fighting hard and dealing with a little adversity in some of these close losses, but we will bounce back and get better from this.”
The Tigers took advantage of some early mistakes by the Bulldogs that began with Valerie Cagle reaching base in the first inning as Georgia’s first baseman was pulled off the bag on a short throw. Marissa Guimbarda followed with a walk, and Sam Russ loaded the bases off a throwing error by the second baseman. Redshirt sophomore Kyah Keller drew a six-pitch walk that brought in the first run for the Tigers.
Clemson doubled the lead in the second after Cammy Pereira sent the fifth pitch of her at bat soaring out of right field. This was Pereira’s second home run of the season after hitting her first one in the opening game at FGCU. Georgia responded with a solo homer of its own to cut the Tigers’ advantage back to one run.
The Clemson defense held strong through the middle innings turning a 6-4-3 double play in the third inning, and catcher JoJo Hyatt caught a Bulldog attempting to steal to end the fourth.
The Bulldogs tied things up in the bottom of the sixth after a runner got on following a fielding error by the Tigers and advanced around to score off a wild pitch. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the leadoff batter ripped a single through the right side and was brought home two batters later with a single down the third base line to give Georgia the 3-2 victory.
With the loss, Cagle drops to 7-6 on the season after striking out eight batters and pitching her sixth complete game of the year.
Up NextThe Tigers return home to host Louisville in a three-game ACC series beginning on Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at McWhorter Stadium.

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