Top-seed Clemson blanks Virginia Tech 2-0 in softball semifinals

Hokies fall 2-0 in tightly played semi

Clemson pitcher Valerie Cagle leaves the field after shutting out Virginia Tech 2-0 in the conference tournament semifinals. (ACC/Clemson University)

Louisville, KY – Clemson’s Valerie Cagle outdueled Virginia Tech ace Keely Rochard as the top-seeded Tigers took down the No. 4 Hokies, 2-0, in the semifinals of the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship Friday afternoon at Ulmer Stadium. No. 13-ranked Clemson scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning. Left fielder Alia Logoleo walked to lead off the inning and stole second. Second baseman Cammy Pereira advanced Logoleo to third on a groundout, and first baseman Grace Mattimore drove her in with a bunt to third base. 

No. 20-ranked Virginia Tech stranded four runners in the game. In the top of the first inning, shortstop Kelsey Brown singled, and advanced to third base on a walk and fielder’s choice but was unable to score. The Hokies threatened again in the top of the sixth inning, with center fielder Darby Trull reaching base on a walk and advancing to second on a groundout, but another groundout ended the inning. Clemson added an insurance run in the bottom of the third after Cagle helped her own cause with a solo home run down the right field line. 

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Rochard struck out four for Virginia Tech but allowed two runs on four hits in six innings and was tagged with the loss, dropping her to 25-8 on the year. Cagle earned the win, improving her record to 26-4 on the season. The freshman Tiger threw a complete game, allowing only three hits while fanning seven batters in seven innings. 

Clemson advances to tomorrow’s noon final on ESPN vs No. 3 Duke, a winner over No. 2 Florida State in the other semifinal.