The word dominate began with the letter “J” in every sport she played. That’s how good an athlete Janna Venice was in her four years at Apponequet during the 1980s.

The three-sport standout, who earned multiple all-star honors in all three, began her athletic career with a flair by dominating the winter and spring track seasons as a freshman in 1986.

 

In the winter, Janna established herself as the area’s top sprinter by winning six of seven dual meets in the 50-yard dash and boasting an area-best time of 6.2 seconds.

The following spring, she helped direct the softball team to a South Sectional championship by leading the South Coast Conference in hitting (.538) and her team in home runs (5), RBI (42) and in on-base percentage while hitting out of the leadoff spot.

Janna also was a three-time all-star selection in field hockey and her head coach, Cindy Cuthbertson, labeled her “probably faster than anyone I’ve seen in a clean sprint.”

But softball was the sport Janna completely dominated, capping her high school career by hitting .534 with six home runs and 24 RBI while posting a pitching record of 7-0 and an 0.98 ERA. In her four years with the varsity, the Lakers won four Eastern Massachusetts championships and three state titles.

Janna was good enough to win a softball scholarship to the University of Connecticut and over her four seasons there, she set five school career records including base hits (258), at-bats (716), total bases (366), runs scored (169) and stolen bases (72).

Janna also set single-season records in batting average (.464), base hits (84), runs scored (63) and total bases.

She was named Big East Conference Player of the Year in 1992 and ‘93 and the Big East Championships Most Valuable Player in 1991 and ‘93.

Editor’s Note: This is the latest in a 100-day series of Buddy’s Best: Unforgettable 100, counting down each day from 100 all the way to No. 1. Read the series as it unfolds at SouthCoastToday.com/BuddysBest