Home Clemson knocks Virginia out of ACC Softball Championship with 8-1 win

Clemson knocks Virginia out of ACC Softball Championship with 8-1 win

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Virginia’s stay in the ACC Softball Championship was short, with the ‘Hoos falling to Clemson, 8-1, on Thursday.

With the loss, UVA (32-18) heads home to await their marching orders from the NCAA Tournament selection committee, which will announce the 2024 tournament field on Sunday.

The selection show airs at 7 p.m. on Sunday on ESPN2.

“It was a disappointing outing for us,” coach Joanna Hardin said after the loss. “We felt like we had the right plan across the board. Courtney (Layne) and Madi (Harris) wiggled out of a few jams for us early, and then we cut the lead in half in the fourth inning and had a little momentum going, so it was disappointing to dwindle down the end.”

Clemson (34-16) got on the board in the first inning when Valerie Cagle delivered a bases-loaded single through the left side.

The Tigers added a second run in the second inning as a single followed by back-to-back wild pitches and a walk put runners at the corners with one out. A single through the right side from Alex Brown following a Cavalier pitching change brought the run home , but again the ‘Hoos limited the damage in the inning to one run.

Virginia got on the board in the fourth with an RBI single up the middle from Sarah Coon. The ‘Hoos got two on with a bunt single from Abby Weaver, ahead of Shelby Barbee getting on after being hit by a pitch. Coon then drove a ball back up the middle to score Weaver from second and cut the lead to 2-1.

Clemson pushed three runs home in the fifth, using a sac fly followed by a two-out, two-RBI single from Brown taking the lead out to 5-1.

The Tigers then added three more runs in the seventh, beginning with an RBI double from McKenzie Clark before Cagle drove in two more with a single up the middle.

Layne (3-2, 3.57 ERA) took the loss, giving up two runs in an inning and a third.

Clemson lit up All-ACC pitcher Eden Bigham for six runs on four hits and five walks in three and two-thirds innings of relief.

“We gave away 11 free passes and had three errors, and you won’t win many games against good opponents playing like that,” Hardin said. “It’s a good test and reminder that you have to play you’re A game all of the time, especially in postseason softball. We’ll learn from it and get ready for the NCAA Tournament selection show on Sunday.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].