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Home Runs Power Tigers Past Notre Dame in Extras

April 20, 2024

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Transfers Lindsey Garcia and Alex Brown tallied home runs in the 10th inning to secure an 8-5 extra-inning victory in the opening game of the series against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday evening. Redshirt senior Valerie Cagle also tallied the 66th home run of her career in the fourth inning to help No. 21/20 Clemson improve to 30-14 (12-7 ACC) on the year. With the series opening win, this is the fourth-consecutive season that Clemson has hit the 30-win mark. Notre Dame drops to 23-19 (7-12 ACC) following the loss.

The Tigers were able to strike first with two outs in the top of the third inning. McKenzie Clark reached on a fielder’s choice, and at the crack of Julia Knowler’s bat, Clark was on a mission to score to give Clemson the 1-0 lead. Notre Dame responded in the bottom of the third by scoring two to claim the lead.

Clemson answered with four runs in the top of the fifth that began with Brown and Clark tallying a single and a double, respectively, to get things started. Knowler followed with a two-RBI double off the right-center fence to reclaim the lead for the Tigers. With only one out, Cagle drove the second pitch of her at bat down the right-field line and out of the ballpark, extending the Tigers’ lead as both her and Kennedy Ariail, who was running for Knowler, scored. Cagle’s home run marked her seventh of the season and 66th of her career.

The Fighting Irish responded in the bottom of the seventh with three runs after a defensive error by the Tigers extended the inning to force Clemson to its sixth extra-inning game of the season. Regan Spencer, who pitched the first three innings before being replaced by Millie Thompson in the bottom of the fourth, re-entered in the bottom of the eighth inning. She faced four batters between the eighth and ninth innings before Brooke McCubbin would enter in the ninth and finish the contest in the circle.

Garcia stepped to the plate to open the 10th inning and sent the second pitch of her plate appearance over the scoreboard in left field to give Clemson a 6-5 advantage. Two outs later, Maddie Moore was hit by a pitch and stole second to be in scoring position for Brown to drive a 2-2 pitch to center and extend the Tigers’ lead to 8-5. The two home runs in the 10th were Garcia and Brown’s third and fourth, respectively, of the season. It also is the 14th time Clemson has hit multiple home runs in a game this season, and the eighth time the Tigers have hit at least three in a single game in 2024.

Clemson’s defense was able to pick up three-quick outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to secure the 8-5 series-opening victory.

Spencer started in the circle for the 13th time this season. She pitched the first three innings with two strikeouts before Thompson entered in relief. Thompson pitched four innings with one strikeout before Spencer re-entered in the bottom of the eighth. McCubbin pitched the final two innings with one strikeout to earn the win and move to 9-2 on the year.

The Tigers finished the 10-inning contest with 13 hits, including three from both Brown and Clark. Cagle added two hits and two RBIs as Moore, Knowler, Garcia, Aby Vieira and Arielle Oda rounded out the hits. Both Brown and Clark also scored twice, as Brown, Cagle and Knowler picked up multi-RBI outings.

Up Next

The Tigers continue the series against the Fighting Irish tomorrow, April 20 at 1 p.m. on ACCNX.

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