Brenna Conley signs with Charleston Southern University to play softball

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2023

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Brenna Conley is officially a Charleston Southern Buccaneer.

The senior Lady Cats’ pitcher signed her National Letter of Intent with Charleston Southern University Wednesday, with her mother, Gina Conley, and father, Brandon Conley, beside her.

“God has given her the competitive drive, determination, and the ability to do great things,” Gina said. “It’s Brenna’s story, we just enjoyed being along for the ride.”

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Conley verbally committed to the Buccaneers in December of 2022 and now officially inks the agreement.

“Brenna has worked her doggone butt off to get to this point,” said Lady Cats head coach Rex Wade.

Conley comes into the singing off of a dominant senior season. Conley threw 163 strikeouts, striking out more than a third of the batters she faced. She garnered a 1.357 ERA and held opponents to a .175 batting average.

“They always say a pitcher is unique,” Gina said. “She fits that mold perfectly.”

Conley got her start with softball with her first tee-ball season in 2012 when she was five years old. She started playing travel softball in 2016. 

She was formally introduced to pitching during a travel season when her coach, Brooks Wade, took a group of 4-5 players to Tallahassee to work with a pitching coach. Conley was the only player from the group that the pitching coach recommended becoming a pitcher.

“We laugh because they would have to make Brenna go last,” Gina said. “She would run around and run around and run around and, finally, when she was tired, they would let her pitch. She had so much energy.”

Gina said they started working with that pitching coach while Conley played for the travel team. Gina realized Conley was a special talent less than a year later.

“After six months of taking pitching lessons it finally clicked with her,” Gina said. “The pitching coach was like, ‘Who’s been working with her?’ and we were like, ‘Well she’s just been doing it in the yard.’”

Gina said she remembers the first time Conley pitched in a game where she felt “untouchable.”

“Probably in 12u,” Gina said. “I think she had one hit off of her. I think just that feeling of being in control of that game,… She likes being in charge.”

Conley has spent the years since working with specialty coaches and playing on travel and school teams to hone her craft. Conley will pitch for the Tampa Mustangs Affrunti in Tampa Bay, FL when the travel season begins.

Wade said Conley has a strong mindset and that it is one of her best attributes on the diamond. Conley keeps her composure well and doesn’t crack under pressure when pitching.

“Brenna is fierce,” Wade said. “She is driven, she’s who you want to have the ball when the game is on the line.”

Conley’s determination was a selling point for the Charleston Southern coaches, According to Gina. 

“They liked her swagger,” Gina said. “They liked her attitude. They liked her drive. Even when the team got behind she never stopped doing her job. That was one of the things that drew them to her.”

Conley will finish her non-collegiate softball career with the Mustangs Affrunti, then join the Buccaneers in the offseason before the 2025 college softball season.