Press Release\CU Athletic Communications
Clemson Softball utility-ace Valerie Cagle (Yorktown, Va.) has been named a National FastPitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Second Team All-American as a utility/pitcher, the organization announced on Wednesday. With Wednesday’s announcement, Cagle, who led the Tigers in the batter’s box and in the circle, became the first-ever All-American in program history.
Cagle guided Clemson to an ACC regular season championship and an appearance in the 2021 ACC Championship title game in the program’s first opportunity to do so. She also became the first player in league history to earn ACC Player of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year honors in the same year. Cagle is also the only player in the nation to pitch at least 200.0 innings while achieving at least a .400 batting average. Cagle (1.16) currently ranks second in the ACC in ERA.
Cagle was one of five ACC student-athletes to be named to the All-America list. The others included: Keely Rochard (Virginia Tech, First Team), Deja Davis (Duke, Second Team), Kathryn Sandercock (Florida State, Second Team) and Abby Sweet (Notre Dame, Second Team).
On May 20, Cagle and Clemson outfielder McKenzie Clark (Myakka City, Fla.) were named to the NFCA’s All Region Southeast Team. Only players who were selected to All-Region teams were eligible for consideration at the All-American level. Each All-American team is comprised of 18 players, including: three pitchers, one catcher, one first base, one second base, one third base, one shortstop, three outfielders, one utility/pitcher, one utility/non-pitcher, and five at-large positions. At-large positions were nominated by the NFCA All-Region committee representatives.
Valerie Cagle Accolades: USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 10 Finalist … NFCA National Freshman of the Year Top 3 Finalist … NFCA Second Team All-American … NFCA All-Region Southeast selection … ACC Player of the Year … ACC Freshman of the Year … First Team All-ACC selection … ACC All-Freshman Team selection … ACC All-Tournament Team selection … JWOS First Team All-American … 2x ACC Player of the Week (March 24 & April 27) … 2x ACC Pitcher of the Week (April 7 & 20) … Tabbed the No. 4 positional player in the nation for the month of April, according to Softball America … Tabbed the No. 2 pitcher in the nation for the month of April, according to Softball America … Tabbed the No. 7 pitcher in the nation for the month of March, according to Softball America … JWOS Co-Player of the Week (April 27).
Notes on Valerie Cagle: First player in league history garner ACC Player or Pitcher of the Year, while also collecting Freshman of the Year honors … Only player in the nation to earn both NFCA Player (March 23) and Pitcher of the Week honors … Only player in the ACC to earn both ACC Player and Pitcher of the Week honors (April 7) … Led Clemson in batting average (.404), slugging percentage (.821), on-base percentage (.492), hits (63), RBI (45), doubles (12), home runs (17), total bases (128), walks (27), ERA (1.16), opposing batting average (.184), wins (28), saves (5), innings pitched (216.2), batters struck out (267), appearances (40) games started (32), complete games (26) and shutouts (11) … Cagle led the ACC in the following statistical categories: home runs, slugging percentage, total bases and victories … As of June 2, Cagle was second in the ACC in ERA and strikeouts … In 14 of Clemson’s wins this season, Cagle provided enough run support single-handedly in which her RBI exceeded the number of runs she and the Tigers’ defense surrendered … Achieved a 2.14 ERA in Clemson’s seven contests against ranked opponents … As of May 28, only 12 pitchers in the nation, including Cagle, have pitched at least 200.0, but she was the only one with at least a .400 batting average … Achieved a 23-game hit streak and a 25-game on-base streak … Pitched her second career complete-game no-hitter (7 inn.) in 6-0 win over Boston College (April 18) … Pitched her first career complete-game no-hitter (5 inn.) in Clemson’s 9-0 win over Winthrop (April 13) … Earned her then-second career win in the circle against a ranked opponent after defeating then-No. 14 Virginia Tech (Feb. 18) … Pitched an 11.0-inning shutout at Louisville (March 19), when she fanned a career-best 14 strikeouts … Achieved a career-high 14 strikeouts on three occasions this season … Recorded a pair of two-run home runs, including a game winner in the top of the seventh, at North Florida (Feb. 12) before entering the circle in the bottom of the seventh to earn her first career save.