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Clemson drops a heartbreaker to Tennessee in a top-10 matchup

John Rittman and the No. 8/9 ranked Tigers were dealt another heartbreaking extra innings loss on Tuesday.

A week removed from a 2-1 loss against No. 3 Georgia in extra innings, Clemson fell to another top-10 team in extras. This time, it was No. 9/8 Tennessee who dealt the Tigers a loss, falling to the Volunteers 2-1 at McWhorter Stadium in Clemson.

In the nail-biting ninth-inning clash, the Volunteers’ Sophia Nugent sealed the deal with a clutch double to centerfield, bringing home Rylie West for the decisive run against Clemson’s ace Valerie Cagle. Despite Cagle’s impressive 10 strikeouts, she couldn’t stave off the loss, allowing only five hits throughout the nine innings. On the other end, Karlyn Pickens secured the win for Tennessee after a solid six-inning stint, conceding just three hits.

Tennessee initially took the lead in the third inning with Kiki Milloy’s double down the right-field line, bringing in Taylor Pannell. Clemson fought back, leveling the score in the fourth inning when Julia Bomhardt crossed home plate on a wild pitch. Despite both teams squaring up in the fourth, the deadlock persisted until the end, culminating in missed opportunities for Clemson in the eighth inning.

Looking ahead, Clemson gears up to host the Tiger Invitational, kicking off with a doubleheader against Minnesota on Thursday.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire