Regi Hecker will go down in history as one of the most successful leadoff hitters in Blue Springs South High School softball history.
In her final game for the Jaguars, the senior had three hits, stole three bases and scored three runs in the 10-0 Class 4 state championship win over Suburban Big Six rival Raymore Peculiar last fall.
She lit the fuse under the offense in the first inning with a single, stolen base and run scored on McKenna Lester’s RBI double.
"That was the perfect way to start the state championship game and the perfect way to end my high school career," Hecker said. "I took so much pride in being a leadoff hitter, and when we scored that first run I just knew we were going to win the game because you could feel the energy in our dugout.
And energy that was often generated by Hecker.
"With Regi, you just knew she was going to get something going every time she came up to bat," said former South pitcher and 2018 Examiner Player of the Year Easton Seib, who will be Hecker’s roommate at Valparaiso University this fall.
Added Addie Lightner, The Examiner’s 2019 Player of the Year and the beneficiary of Hecker’s offensive output in that 10-0 win: "She’s just one of the best leadoff hitters ever!"
Hecker finished her senior year hitting .533, with nine doubles, five triples, eight RBIs, 49 hits, 36 runs, 18 stolen bases (20 attempts), eight walks, a .573 on-base percentage, .739 slugging percentage, and explosive 1.312 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
She was a member of The Examiner’s All-Area team, All-Suburban Big Six, all-district, all-region and Missouri Fast Pitch Coaches Association’s Class 4 All-State first team.
She would have been able to cap her brilliant career with an appearance in the annual Mo-Kan All-Star Softball Series in early June, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the series has been canceled.
"One more game would have been great, but honestly, I look at all the seniors who didn’t get to participate in sports this spring and I am just so thankful that we play softball in the fall," said Hecker, who also earned multiple all-state honors as a swimmer. "Winning state last year, and not being able to go back and defend our title would have been tough to deal with."
While she is disappointed in the cancellation of the all-star series, she received some great news this week from Valparaiso.
"I got an email that said they are going to have classes on campus, so I get to go to Valpo and really experience college life," Hecker said. "And I can’t wait to go to school with Easton and some other friends from our summer teams who are on the Valpo team.
"It’s kind of like a dream come true. I couldn’t have asked for any more from high school, and I’m really looking forward to the challenges that will come from college ball. I can’t wait."