U. North Florida assistant softball coach Janice Savage is joining former Delaware State U. softball player Patty Brown as the first softball players to be inducted into the DSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
“She’s the best pitcher we’ve had in our softball program,” DSU Sports Information Director Dennis Jones said. “She’s responsible for a lot of success in our softball program. She’s very deserving.”
Delaware State announced the induction of 13 former Hornets, athletes from multiple sports Aug. 23. The DSU Hall of Fame class of 2010 will be introduced at an enshrinement ceremony Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Dover, Del.
“It’s a really great honor,” Savage said. “I worked really hard in my career. It’s really nice that people have noticed that I’ve been trying to pave the way for Delaware State University. I’m really excited for the banquet to get to see everybody and to be a part of it.”
Savage spent two years pitching for the Hornets and by the time she was done, she was Delaware State’s career pitching leader in strikeouts, earned run average, shutouts and saves. Savage still holds Delaware State’s school and MEAC records with 323 strikeouts in her career, 185 in a single season and 17 in one game.
In addition to being DSU’s career pitching leader, Savage also earned two selections to the Academic All-American Team. Both Savage and Brown were members of the All-MEAC and All-Mid-Atlantic Region Teams.
Her most dominant season came in 2004 when she ranked 20th in the nation with 8.6 strikeouts per seven innings pitched. That same year, she ranked 24th nationally, with a 0.98 earned run average.
One of her favorite things about playing at Delaware State was getting the chance to play for her father, Jeff, she said. She enjoyed that her mother got to go to every game, as well, and she was happy to be so close to home.
“Having my family there being able to see me play was one of my favorite things there,” she said. “They watch me coach now, but it’s still not the same.”
Another thing Savage enjoyed about her time at Delaware State was the small state environment and the positive support she got while playing there.
“It’s a small state so when you’re in the newspaper a lot of people know what’s going on,” Savage said. “They really follow sports, and it helps you to realize how much of an impact that a student-athlete can make on the university by showing well in games and in the newspaper and bringing positive press to your school.”
In 2005, Savage became the first Delaware State female athlete to sign a professional sports contract when she went overseas to play professional softball for one season with New Bologna, who play in the Italian Federation League.
Before joining UNF last season, Savage worked at Bowling Green where she mainly coached pitching, a position in which she was so dominant, but she also assisted in every aspect of the team.
“She has been a big asset to our team here at UNF,” said UNF softball head coach Marcie Hickey. “It’s a great accomplishment for her.”