By Kyle Daubs

Reagan McGahey wasn’t going to let anything stop her goal of being a Division I athlete. 

Not even diabetes. 

At a young age, the Charleston High School senior was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. 

“I chose to work even harder,” said McGahey. “I refused to let it define me and my future opportunities.”

McGahey became one of the best softball recruits in the area despite missing a season to COVID-19. 

As a freshman and sophomore, McGahey has been named a two-time All-Area, All-Apollo, and All-State selection. 

“I would like to encourage anyone that no matter what the obstacle is, if you have the passion to do something and you want it bad enough, to go out and get it,” said McGahey. “Never let an obstacle define you and never allow it to stop you from pursuing what you want to become. Let the obstacles you overcome be apart of your success.”

McGahey was a main cog for a CHS softball team that saw the best two-year stretch of any team in the sport’s history. Over the two years she has played, Charleston recorded back-to-back 30-win seasons, a record of 61-10, two IHSA regional championships, and the school’s first Apollo Conference title. 

“This is a great example to the younger kids across any sport about how hard work can get you to where you want to be,” said CHS softball coach Blain Mayhall. “She adds a superior athlete to SIU’s program. Reagan has worked extremely hard, all the way back to 10U. She has put in a lot of time to achieve her goal to play Division I softball. All that hard work has paid off.”

As a freshman, McGahey burts onto the scene after she hit .523 with 13 home runs, 14 doubles, and eight triples. She followed that season with a batting average of .566, seven home runs, six triplesen though you play for the home team? and 39 runs batted in. 

Her 20 career home runs are tied for second most in only two seasons. Mayhall says McGahey will bring more to the SIU program than just a solid bat. 

“She can play all infield positions, including catcher,” said Mayhall. “She can be a speedy asset in the outfield, if needed. She has a great speed on the base paths and can hit for both average and power. They are getting an extremely versatile player. She has mean ta lot to our program from middle school to now. She will be missed.”

While other Division I schools had reached out, McGahey says that she knew right away that SIU was going to be her choice. 

“I never questioned whether Carbondale was right for me,” said McGahey. “I chose SIU because as soon as I stepped foot on campus; it felt like home. The coaches were a big part of my commitment to Carbondale. They genuinely care about their players on and off the field. The team atmosphere is phenomenal. They truly have a tight bond.”

Before COVID-19 shut the softball season down, SIU was 15-6, which included a nine-game winning streak and two tournament championships. 

In 2019, SIU went 34-15 with a 17-6 record in the Missouri Valley Conference (second overall) and an NCAA Tournament berth. McGahey will officially sign with SIU on Dec. 4. 

“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for giving me the desire to play softball and also giving me the opportunities to play,” said McGahey. “I would like to thank my mother, Kara, my father, Jay, and my brother, Mason. I want to also thank all my coaches too, which include Tony Moll, Dale Shelton, Blain Mayhall, Dan Paulson, Kerry Blaylock and Jen Sewell for pushing me to become the best player I can be, and the best person, too.”