Brenau pitcher Eli Daniel, a freshman from Locust Grove, Ga., reacts after a strikeout during the championship game of the SSAC conference tournament against Mobile. Brenau won 2-1 in nine inning. Brenau's finished SSAC play, both regular season and the conference tournament 30-0. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Brenau pitcher Eli Daniel, a freshman from Locust Grove, Ga., reacts after a strikeout during the championship game of the SSAC conference tournament against Mobile. Brenau won 2-1 in nine inning. Brenau's finished SSAC play, both regular season and the conference tournament 30-0. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Eli Daniel Sets Nation’s All-time Strikeout Record at 552 as No. 2 Golden Tigers Post 5-0 Win in First Game of National Championship Playoffs

May. 15, 2017
Kris Stewart

ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (May 15, 2017) – Brenau University Golden Tigers pitcher Kathleen Elizabeth Daniel set the NAIA’s all-time single-season record for strikeouts at 552 here Monday as she and her teammates shut out Edward Waters College 5-0 in the first round of the NAIA Softball Championship.

Locust Grove, Georgia, freshman Daniel, who goes by the nickname Eli, recorded 13 strikeouts and allowed one hit and a walk as she faced the minimum 15 batters in five innings of work. She started the game with 539 strikeouts, just one shy of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ single-season record of 540 set by Oklahoma City University’s Lily LaVelle in 2012.
Golden Tigers sophomore Jessica Rathje in relief pitched two shutout innings, racking up two strikeouts and allowing only one runner to get on base.

Brenau President Ed Schrader congratulated the entire Golden Tigers squad on its record-breaking season that included being the first team ever to go undefeated in both Southern States Athletic Conference regular-season play and the postseason SSAC tournament. He also congratulated Daniel for her outstanding season.

“Eli is a tremendous young woman, an excellent member of the college community and a great representative of Brenau University – not to mention that she is a once in a lifetime athlete,” Schrader said.

The Brenau team, No. 1 seed in this portion of the tournament, now faces host LSU Alexandria, the No. 2 seed, at 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday. Brenau is ranked No. 2 in the nation with 53-5 overall after going 26-0 in regular-season conference play.

No. 12 LSU Alexandria (47-8, 26-1), the Red River Athletic Conference champ, Monday posted a 7-0 win over third-seeded No. 25 Science & Arts (38-17, 21-7), the runner-up in the Sooner Athletic Conference from Chickasha, Oklahoma.

In the opening game on Monday, the Golden Tigers from Gainesville, Georgia, started the scoring in the top of the second against Jacksonville, Florida-based Edward Waters as junior Savannah Moore was hit by a pitch and then advanced to third on freshman Shelton Kendrix’s double to deep right field. Junior Courtney Kenney then hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Moore.

The offense swung into action again in the top of the fifth as freshman Tabitha Morrison doubled to left-center to start the inning. Sophomore Lexi Cash then singled to advance Morrison to third. After Cash stole second, senior Mackenzie Oliver Mullis reached first on a fielder’s choice that scored Morrison to increase the score to 2-0. Oliver Mullis advanced to third, then scored on an Edward Waters error to increase the lead to 3-0.

In the top of the sixth inning, Kendrix led off with a single and advanced to third after a Mason Garland sacrifice. Kenney singled up the middle to score Kendrix for a 4-0 lead and went to third after another Edward Waters error. Pinch runner Sarah Peery scored the Golden Tigers’ fifth run on a Jennifer Gering’s passed ball to close out the game.

Live streaming of the game is available at http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=205423392.

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