Those who know 18-year-old Reagan Richardson know that she was born to play softball.
The North Lamar graduate lived and breathed the sport and now, after retiring when she graduated, Reagan has been named the Texas Sports Writers Association All-State Team – 1st All-State Pitcher for the fourth consecutive year.
“I was really happy when I found out I won,” said Reagan. “It makes my hard work worth it. It makes me missing all the things I missed out on worth it. Receiving this award just proved to me my hard work was worth it.”
In the softball world, a Texas Sports Writers Association All-State Team award is the highest achievement you can get.
Reagan’s love of softball began at the age of 4-years-old and soon turned into something more serious than just a “hobby”.
“Softball was actually something my old sister did and it was kind of just passed down to me,” said Reagan. “When I was 7-years-old my dad, Rickey, realized this was serious and that’s when I joined a traveling softball team.”
While Reagan has played most positions on the field, pitching is what she loved the most.
“Dad and I played a lot together and I would practice my pitching with him 6 days a week,” said Reagan.
And it’s Reagan’s Dad who she credits the most of her success to.
“There were so many times over the years since I was 7-years-old that we would miss an event for softball,” said Reagan. “We missed birthdays, family gatherings, Mother’s Day…everything you can think of we missed it because it’s something my Dad knew I wanted to do.”
“I’ve got to give him the credit for not only holding me accountable but for also being there with me every step of the way and sacrificing his life to come with me.”
To be nominated for the award, players coaches must nominate them.
“Jimmy Finley nominated me the first three years and Ashley Ensley nominated me this year,” said Reagan. “I’m really grateful for the nomination from them both and appreciate everyone’s support throughout this whole process and happy to be a part of the program at North Lamar.”
Reagan especially wanted to thank head coach Jimmy Finley, who she says has been there for her along the way.
“He hasn’t received as much credit as he deserves and I’m so grateful for all he has done to help. I’d also like to thank my travel ball coach, Ed Naudin who has been such an amazing influence and someone I still look up to.”
Now that Reagan has graduated she decided to retire from the sport she loves so much to focus on her dream job…becoming a NICU Nurse.
“I decided at the end of my senior that I wanted to pursue something else,” said Reagan. “I love babies and always wanted to be a nurse. I enjoy being around babies and taking care of them and this has always been a dream job for me.”
So, what advice would Reagan give to younger girls wanted to pursue softball?
“I would say love the game every single day you play it. Never play the game unless you want to and respect others and they’ll respect you. Work as hard as you can, be humble and most importantly…love this game and it’ll love you back.”
Photos: Joe Watson