For Vicki Panzari, sports gave her a place to make friends and be a part of a team. As a military daughter, Panzari moved several times during her youth, and sports helped her connect each time she moved.
Born in Boise, Idaho, on May 22, 1954, Panzari graduated from Capitol High School in Boise in 1972. She played basketball during her junior high school years, but it became difficult for her to stay connected with the sport because of how often her family moved. In 1973, she turned out for BJ's All Star softball team, where she made her mark in athletics.
As a part of the All Star team, Panzari won the strong Western Washington League every year for 10 years, along with winning 19 out of 22 tournaments. The team won Regionals and qualified for Nationals in Elk Grove, Calif., where it placed 17th nationally.
Personally, Panzari won several All Star awards, including most valuable player. She split her time between second base and shortstop, averaging in the high .300s at the plate. She had the ability to hit with power when necessary, and her on base percentage led the team.
In 1982, BJ's All Stars disbanded, and Panzari moved to Seattle, where she played for "The R Place" for 10 more years. With this team, she won several Seattle and Emerald City softball titles. The team played in both C and B level Regionals and National tournaments, representing both leagues.
Panzari has also played and taught racquetball, earning a "Most Improved Player" award in 1983. She won a 1984 Datsun B210 in a tournament at the Self-Spaulding Classic in Fountain Valley, Calif. By 1990, she was ranked no. 2 in the nation. Panzari still plays tournaments, mostly doubles, competing in the men's division for the competition.