The softball community in mourning the loss of National Softball Hall of Fame member and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Head Softball Coach, Joan Joyce, who passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2022. She was 81 years old.
Softball is a team sport. But Hall of Famer Joan Joyce dominated it if it was an individual sport during a 21-year career for the Orange, CA Lionettes and the Raybestos Brakettes, Stratford, CT. Born August 19, 1940, Joyce made her debut with the Brakettes in 1956 and played for them through 1963. From 1964-1966, she compiled a record of 80 wins and six losses pitching for the Orange, CA Lionettes. She re-joined the Brakettes in 1967 and remained until retiring after the 1975 season. As a Brakette, she won 429 games and lost 27 and struck out 5,677 batters in 3,397 innings. She hurled 105 no-hitters and 33 perfect games. Besides being a great hurler, Joyce also was one of the game’s all-time top hitters, finishing her career with a .327 batting average that included leading the Brakettes in batting times six times (1962, 1960, 1967-1969, 1973). Her highest single season average was .406 in 1973. She was a member of 12 national championship teams and 18 times was named an ASA All-America. Eight times she shared or won outright the MVP award in the Women’s National Championship. In 1974, Joan led the Brakettes to the world title in the third ISF Women’s World Championship. She was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame in 1999. Named by Sports Illustrated that year as the 13th greatest sports figure in Connecticut history.
“Joan Joyce was one of those rare people to enjoy success as both a player and a coach. After concluding an illustrious playing career that spanned parts of four decades in numerous sports, Joyce was named Head Softball Coach at FAU in 1994. The 2022 season was her 28th with the Owls. She was the only FAU softball head coach in program history, racking up 1,002 wins and eight Conference Coach of the Year titles in three different conferences along the way. Under Joyce, the program’s accomplishments are unparalleled: eight-consecutive Conference Championships (1997-2004) – 12 in all (2006, 2007, 2016, 2018) – and eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1997-2004) – 11 in all (2006, 2015, 2016).”