Record-breaking Brenau University freshman pitcher Eli Daniel recorded 15 strikeouts and allowed just four hits as it beat Mobile 2-1 for the program’s first-ever Southern States Athletic Conference championship Saturday in Decatur, Ala. Daniel, who is the league MVP, posted complete game victories in all four tournament games for the nation’s No. 2 Golden Tigers (51-5).
Daniel was able to go in the championship game, despite arm pain, according to Brenau coach Devon Thomas.
At the plate, Courtney Kenney drove in the winning run for the Golden Tigers with a two-out hit to right field to plate Autumn Conaway.
Mackenzie Oliver Mullis scored the first run for Brenau after a first-inning single and scored on a fielder’s choice by Kenney.
With her amazing pitching performance, Daniel now stands at 539 strikeouts for the season, one shy of the NAIA record set by Oklahoma City University Lily LaVelle in 2012. Daniel also leads the nation in ERA (0.52), wins (42) and innings pitched (309 1/3).
On Friday, Brenau earned its spot in the league championship with a 2-1 win against William Carey. Trailing 1-0 in the sixth inning, catcher Savannah Moore had a two-run single for Brenau.