For the second-consecutive season, the Clemson softball team is heading back to the ACC Championship game after defeating top-seed Virginia Tech, 4-1 on Friday afternoon. Redshirt sophomore Alia Logoleo continued her dominant performance at the plate hitting two home runs to propel the No. 5 seed Clemson Tigers to the upset.
With the win, the Tigers improve to 39-14 on the year and 4-1 all-time in ACC tournament play. The regular-season ACC Champion Hokies fall to 41-7 on the year. Today’s win over No. 2/2 nationally ranked Virginia Tech is also the highest ranked win for the Tigers in the three-years of the program.
Logoleo’s dominant performance at the plate opened the scoring today. The Nashville, Tenn. native drove the sixth pitch of her first at bat out of left field for her team-high 13th home run of the season and second of the week, to make it 1-0 after two.
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The Tigers doubled their lead in the fourth after sophomore McKenzie Clark drew a walk. Marissa Guimbarda hit a slow dribbler down to Virginia Tech’s third baseman for a single, and Clark turned on her wheels to make it around to third and then score off a throwing error by the Hokies.
The bats stayed hot in the fifth as graduate transfer Sam Russ sent a triple down the right field line to then be brought home off a sac fly from Arielle Oda. In the bottom half of the fifth, the Hokies recorded their first hit off Valerie Cagle. Despite the fact VT got a runner on, Logoleo turned a quick double play when a ball was sent back up the middle. She stepped on second base and made the throw to first to complete the play as the Tigers maintained a 3-0 lead through five.
The Hokies got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning after the leadoff batter hit a single. She advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and was brought home on a fielder’s choice three batters later. Cagle went to work in the circle though, and picked up a strikeout to end the inning with the Tigers having a two-run advantage.
In the top of the seventh, Logoleo sent her second home run of the game and 14th of the season out of center field to push the Tigers ahead 4-1, which held for the remainder of the game.
Cagle pitched her 14th complete game of the year en route to improving to 15-7 on the year. She struck out two batters while only allowing one walk.
The Tigers will face either No. 2 seed Duke or No. 3 Florida State in the 2022 ACC Championship game at 1 p.m. on ESPN on Saturday, May 14.