Reagan Nash, standout softball player for the University of Columbia Tigers, made a historic debut this week in the MINK (Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and Kansas) league. The MINK league is a wooden bat league for college athletes to stay sharp in the summer offseason before heading back to their respective schools.

Nash was the first woman to ever play in a MINK league game but the reason this article is slightly different is Nash lived two houses down from me on Gaines Drive in Camden Point, Mo growing up. She wasn’t just a stud softball player in high school as she was also a nine-time medalist in her track and field career including two state titles in the 100 meters in 2014 and 2015.

She surely had college offers for her speedy prowess with her school record 12.24 second 100 meter but her name will remain in the Show-Me State softball record books for years. She finished her junior season with a .667 batting average and a .707 on base percentage, good for seventh best in Missouri history. Her senior season she took a slight dip down to a still remarkable .602, finishing tied for first in the state with 65 hits. Her career total of hits 185 hits is good for the fourth most in Missouri history. Her most impressive feat was a streak of 137 at-bats without a strikeout, which is the second longest streak in Missouri history. She also finished with a career .540 batting average which is seventh best in the record books.

Nash has shown no signs of slowing down since joining the Tigers as she has posted a career .335 batting average with 156 hits and 58 stolen bases. In both her sophomore and junior seasons, Nash finished with more stolen bases than strikeouts and went a combined 37 for 40 when attempting to swipe a base. Also last year, she led Mizzou in at-bats, hits and stolen bases. As you can see, Nash has a laundry list of accomplishments since becoming a Tiger and before.

In an attempt to continue improving heading into her senior season and while interning with the MINK League St. Joseph Mustangs, she got a shot to compete on the team. Tuesday night, Nash made her debut in a 6 to 4 win for the Mustangs. The team released a statement from Nash before the game she detailed her reasons for wanting to compete in the league as, “I just want them to know that I can do it. College leagues like this don’t exist for women’s sports.”

In her only plate appearance, Nash was struck out but played left field beginning in the 4th inning and later pinch ran for the Mustangs. She has made it very obvious that although this is a barrier breaking milestone, she is just out to play a sport she has loved since childhood and get extra work in before returning to Mizzou in the fall. Only Nash and the team know what is in store from here but even if this turns out to be Nash’s only appearance she has paved the way for more women to follow in the years to come.

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