North Platte's Nash officially signs with Mizzou softball

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Regan Nash, left, signs her national letter of intent to play softball at the University of Missouri during a ceremony Nov. 12 in the North Platte High School library in Dearborn, Mo., as her mother Kim looks on.  DEARBORN, Mo. — With the swift stroke of a pen, Regan Nash’s childhood dream came true Nov. 12 at North Platte High School.

The standout outfielder made her pledge to play softball for the University of Missouri official during a signing ceremony held in the library. Family, friends and former coaches watched as her hand flew across the national letter of intent which will take her from Class 2 high school softball to Division I and the Southeastern Conference.

“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life,” Nash said. “I finally did it. It’s amazing.”

Nash owns most of North Platte’s school records for North Platte and finished her career ranked in the top 10 for many of the state’s all-time records. Her 65 hits in 2014 rank No. 1 all-time for a single season.

The final visit to Columbia, Mo., occurred the day after North Platte closed out its season with a fourth-place finish at state in Class 2. The Panthers won the District 14 title to reach the playoffs for the first time since Nash’s freshman year and went on to make the semifinals for just the second time in program history.

North Platte finished 27-3, losing in the semis and third-place game on Oct. 24 at Killian Softball Complex in Springfield, Mo.

Nash attended Missouri’s football game against Vanderbilt the following day and met with the Tigers’ coaches and current players one final time. She decided to hold strong to her previous commitment.

“I’ve been to camp for six years,” Nash said. “Columbia has always felt like home. It just felt like I was coming home.”

Nash now turns her attention to continuing play with the Kansas City Monarchs, her traveling team. Exposure during the ASA U16 nationals in Minnesota in 2013 helped Nash enter the recruiting scene for a chance to play at college’s highest level.

“One of the thrills I’ve had with Regan” Monarchs coach Mike Ray said, “we went to nationals and out of 65 teams, we won nationals. We were waiting to play the championship game. I pulled my equipment under the tree and one of the kids said, ‘Hey, coach. How fast is your leadoff hitter?’ I said, ‘She runs a 2.5-2.6 (seconds) from home to first.’ She’s recognized throughout the whole world of softball because of her speed. That’s a neat feeling to have.”

A four-year starter, Nash wound up fourth all-time in Missouri history for hits with 185, and her 164 runs rank second. She is also the defending Class 2 Missouri State Track and Field Championships 100-meter dash champion and plans to continue her already accomplished career in that sport in the spring.