Bayside Rebels Little League coach Randy DeCastro was approached by a fuming parent two years ago, resulting in a conversation he won’t forget.
The man, who was frustrated because his son didn’t receive enough playing time, criticized another player on the field, but not targeting a lack of skill.
“Any good coach knows at this age you shouldn’t have a girl on your team,” DeCastro remembered the parent said, referring to Regan Goger, the team’s left fielder.
DeCastro responded by saying, “Then you don’t know Regan.” Following the confrontation, Regan went on a 10-game hitting streak, securing her starting spot.
“The timing was great,” DeCastro said. “You could have written a movie to it.”
Regan began playing baseball at 5 years old, after watching her father coach her two older brothers.
“When she was 3 or 4, we tried to put her in dance, but she was like ‘no,’ she wants to play ball,” Teresa Goger, Regan’s mother, recalled.
She briefly tried softball, but went back to baseball because of the higher level of competition the male version of the game offered.
Around 8 years old she tried out for the Bayside Little League travel team, and beat out rival boys for a spot.
Every year since she’s battled to keep her position on the team and grew up with most of the players until the boys don’t even see her as a girl anymore, just “Regan ‘the hitting machine,’” DeCastro said.
And the nickname is well-earned. This season, as of July 17, she has 15 hits in 22 games, and is maintaining a .300 batting average with a .430 on-base percentage and 15 RBI. She also has two homers.
So when people criticize her for playing the male game, “I just ignore what they say,” Regan said.
But having just turned 13, next year she will outgrow Little League and begin high school, where odds are she won’t be able to join a baseball team and be pushed into softball.
Until then, she has decided to keep working hard at baseball, and her parents vow to support her whenever she makes a decision regarding the next level.
“She’s not just doing this because she’s a girl,” George Goger, Regan’s dad, said, “but because she’s pretty good at it.”