Clemson Softball struggles to bring runners home, lose series to Virginia

While the Tigers' pitching staff has become much deeper, their ability to put runners on base and bring them home has diminished.

Clemson junior Regan Spencer (19)
Clemson junior Regan Spencer (19) / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Clemson Softball took the road to Charlottesville, Virginia for a three-game series against the Virginia Cavaliers following their home sweep of the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Tigers were looking to improve their 5-1 record in the ACC as they entered the meat of their conference schedule.

Things didn’t go as planned, however, as Virginia won the series 2-1 over the weekend to send Clemson to a 6-3 conference record.

The Cavaliers grabbed Game 1 on Friday 6-4. The Tigers hit multiple home runs but they couldn’t keep Virginia from plating runs. The game saw the return of Valerie Cagle from an illness. She pitched 3.1 innings to start the game.

Game 2 was pushed back later in the day due to poor weather conditions. Clemson bounced back with a strong 5-1 victory. Regan Spencer got the win throwing a complete game. Maddie Moore and Arielle Oda both got a pair of hits each to power the Tigers.

Game 3 went to the home team 3-0 to give Virginia the series win. The Tigers left eight runners on base during the contest.

In some respects, the reasons behind the Tigers' woes aren’t difficult to diagnose. When the bats are hot as they were in Game 2, they can produce runs, and they don’t always have to be homers.

Game 1 was reminiscent of the Clemson Baseball team under their previous manager Monte Lee. The Tigers got some big hits - Kylee Johnson, Alia Logoleo, and Aby Vieira all sent the ball out of the park for home runs. Beyond that, the Tigers just couldn’t manufacture runs. It was all or nothing.

Game 3 felt like all or nothing for Clemson as well, and this time they brought up nothing. While the pitching staff has become much deeper over the past two seasons, Clemson’s ability to put runners on base and then get them across the plate has diminished.

Clemson will host the Georgia State Panthers this Tuesday and then welcome the Boston College Eagles to McWhorter Stadium for a three-game series.