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Famous Softball Players - Joan Joyce

Joan Joyce is the only head coach Florida Atlantic softball has had in its 11-year history. Under Joyce the program's accomplishments are unmatched: eight-consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference Championships (1997-2004) and six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1999-2004), both A-Sun records; 510 total wins; and a .673 winning percentage.

Joan JoyceThe Owls have won 56 games or more three times, most recently in 2004, when their 56-18 mark was the third-highest win total in program history. FAU's defense of its A-Sun title that year was a hard task, as it took a very tense doubleheader sweep of UCF in the regular-season finale to clinch the top seed for the A-Sun Championships.

In 2003 FAU won 31 of its last 41 games to go on to the same postseason success. From 2003 to 2004, FAU's schedule was one of the best in the nation as the Owls faced at least three teams that went on to the Women's College World Series.

In 2002 FAU set a team record and led the nation with 62 wins. This gave Joyce her fifth A-Sun Coach of the Year award. It was also in 2002 that FAU got its first no. 1 seed, one of eight in the nation, for the NCAA Regional.

Each year Joyce continues to make people’s expectations higher, because since the debut of the team, the club has averaged 46 wins per year, making FAU softball one of the top programs in the nation. Joyce's Owls have probably been the best softball program in the conference but maybe can also be considered the top sports program overall, having won more league titles (eight) than any other program - men's or women's - in the 26-year history of the A-Sun.

A member of the National Amateur Softball Hall of Fame, Joyce holds a career pitching record of 753 wins and 42 losses. Those totals include 150 no-hit, no-run games and 50 perfect games. Offensively, she posted a career batting average of .324. Joyce even struk out Ted Williams in 1961 and counts it as one of her most notable achievements.

She is not just a one-dimensional athlete. Joyce has been inducted into the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Hank O'Donnell Hall of Fame and is one of only three Americans who have been inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1976 she was a runner-up for the Women's Sports Magazine Athlete of the Year. Her story is synonymous to the fastpitch world and to anyone who has followed the games of softball, basketball, volleyball or golf. In addition to the all the athletic honors she has received, Joyce remains an active member of the LPGA.

Joan Joyce has left a big mark on the sport of women's athletics and is creating a legacy that will help to identify Florida Atlantic University, Owls athletics and collegiate softball for decades to come.


 
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