It was late March and Olathe Northwest High School senior catcher Reagan Hathaway was sitting in the stands at Arrocha Ballpark in Lawrence watching a college game between the Kansas and Texas softball teams.
Hathaway was shocked to see a Kansas player slam a home run onto the Jayhawks’ indoor training facility way out in in right field. The feat seemed impossible at the time, but just two months later Hathaway found herself in a similar spot.
It was the Kansas Class 6A state tournament and Hathaway mimicked the blast with her Kansas state record 18th home run of the season. That hit, and her overall season, helped propel Olathe Northwest to a second-place tie in the Sunflower League and runner-up finish at the state tournament. She is The Star’s All-Metro Kansas softball player of the year.
“I didn’t really look where it went, but after watching the video I thought, “dang!,’” said Hathaway, who just completed her senior year. “I didn’t ever think I would hit a ball up on a building like that, but I swung and it caught the wind.”
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Hathaway finished her season with a .640 batting average and 61 RBIs in 25 games. In 64 at-bats, she had 41 hits, drew 30 walks and scored 50 runs. She also stole nine bases and stopped three base-stealing attempts from behind the plate. Defensively, she had 114 putouts, 10 assists and only one error.
“I finally figured out what works best for me swinging-wise and it all came together,” Hathaway said. “I tried not to put pressure on myself to perform and tried to enjoy having fun with my teammates and playing the game.”
Hathaway’s honors included begin named the Sunflower League player of the year and a second consecutive first-team selection to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American squad. She will play collegiately at the University of Texas.
The Star’s All-Metro Kansas softball team
Lexie Storrer, Olathe South, junior. Storrer led the Falcons to the Kansas Class 6A state championship with a 16-1 record and 1.71 ERA. She struck out 113 batters and had a .446 batting average with 23 RBIs.
Hayley McGhee, Olathe East, sophomore. McGhee led the Hawks with a .406 batting average and 22 RBIs. As a pitcher, she posted a 2.30 ERA and threw 146 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings.
Reagan Hathaway, Olathe Northwest, senior. Hathaway, a two-time selection as The Star’s All-Metro Kansas softball player of the year, batted .640 with 61 RBIs. She was the Sunflower League player of the year and a National Fastpitch Coaches Association first-team All-American.
Haidyn Bassett, Oskaloossa, junior. Bassett helped Oskaloosa win a Northeast Kansas League title with a .567 batting average and 39 RBIs. She also went 6-2 with a 2.12 ERA as a pitcher, with five shutouts and two no-hitters.
Megan Hansel, Blue Valley West, senior. Hansel, with the school’s second-best single season batting average, led the Jaguars to a second-place finish at the Kansas Class 5A state tournament. She hit .539 with 31 RBIs in 24 games.
Sophie Taylor, Lawrence, junior. Taylor, a versatile infielder, batted .580 with 29 runs and 22 RBIs for the Lions. She was a power threat, as well, with six doubles, six triples and five home runs.
Mady Young, Olathe Northwest, sophomore. Young set a Kansas state record with 11 triples and batted .619 for the Ravens, who finished second in Kansas Class 6A. She knocked in 30 runs and was 22-for-22 in stolen bases.
Alyvia Simmons, Blue Valley Northwest, senior. Simmons, the Huskies’ single season runs and RBIs leader, notched 26 in both categories. She also recorded the program’s second best batting average at .576.
Kayla Peak, Olathe North, sophomore. Peak, a right fielder who led the Sunflower League with 25 stolen bases across 20 games, batted .549 with 16 RBIs and two home runs for the Eagles, who were state semifinalists.
Katherine Lane, St. Thomas Aquinas, sophomore. Lane helped the Saints capture a share of the Eastern Kansas League title. She batted .537 with 13 RBIs in 23 games. She also set a school record with 46 stolen bases.
Madison McDowell, Basehor-Linwood, senior. McDowell batted .538 with 31 RBIs. She pitched and played first base, third base and in the outfield. In the pitching circle, she posted a 3-2 record with a 1.75 ERA for the Kaw Valley League champion Bobcats.