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Dani Vance Crookston

If ever there was an athlete that dominated the game, Dani Vance was most certainly that individual during The University of Akron softball seasons of 1981 through '84. Dani terrorized the high school ranks while pitching for Manchester, where in 1993 she was inducted into the Panther's Sports Hall of Fame, and continued her winning ways at UA for Head Coach Joey Arrietta. During Vance's career she appeared in more games (62), won more games (45) and struck out more batters (297) than any other pitcher in Zip softball history. Dani's earned run average (ERA) was 0.33 in 1983 and 0.26 in '84, which gave her a career ERA of 0.617 - still the standard to beat today. Also included in her pitching statistics are four no hitters and a 17-strikeout performance against Muskingum in 1983, which is another all-time record she still holds. However, Vance's finest hour came in the 1984 NCAA II Tournament when she out-pitched Sacred Heart's Deby Tidy, 2-1, in a 15-inning semifinal marathon. As a freshman Dani was voted UA's Caroline Pardee Female Athlete of the Year. She would go on to capture the honor in 1983 and '84, the only female athlete at UA to ever do so. Vance would cap off her career by being selected second team on both the National Softball Coaches Association's All-America squad and on the CoSIDA Academic All-America team and then became the first UA female athlete to have her number (8) retired. In 1994 Dani was inducted into UA's Sports Hall of Fame. She and her husband, Steve, have two daughters and reside in Wadsworth.

Inducted 2000 | Softball