Archbishop Ryan nips Lansdale Catholic to earn Catholic League softball title

Archbishop Ryan celebrates after beating Lansdale Catholic, 1-0, for the Catholic League softball crown.

Kate Ostaszewski and her two older sisters, Emily and Sarah, have played major roles in Archbishop Ryan’s recent softball success.

With at least one Oztaszewski in the lineup, the Ragdolls have won four Catholic League championships in the last five seasons.

The latest came when Kate Ostaszewski and Co. blanked Lansdale Catholic, 1-0, in a low-scoring tussle Friday afternoon at La Salle University.

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK
Archbishop Ryan senior shortstop Kate Ostaszewski holds the Catholic League championship plaque following the Ragdolls’ 1-0 shutout of Lansdale Catholic.

Kate Ostaszewski’s looping single to right field in the fifth inning was the difference. Her hit drove home courtesy runner Haley Cattalo from second base.

“I knew I had to step up, be a leader, and get a hit there,” said the senior shortstop and leadoff batter.

Ostaszewski popped up to first and flew out to right in her first two at-bats against Crusaders sophomore righthander Megan Burns. “After facing her twice, I was able to get my timing down,” Ostaszewski said.

Ryan fifth-year coach John Kidwell was not surprised that Ostaszewski came through in the clutch.

“She’s the only kid on the team that I expect to get a hit every time she comes to the plate,” Kidwell said of the first-team all-Catholic selection.

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK
With sisters Sarah, left, and Emily, right, Archbishop Ryan’s Kate Ostaszewski displays the Catholic League championship plaque.

Emily Ostaszewski, 19, preceded Kate as Ryan’s shortstop. The two will join forces again next year at Kutztown, where Emily is a utility player.

Sarah Ostaszewski, 20, was a standout catcher for the Ragdolls and recently completed her second season at St. Joseph’s.

“They both taught me a lot,” Kate said. “I moved from third base to shortstop this year, and Emily gave me some key pointers on how to play the position.”

A fourth Ostaszewski, Kristina, 27, played softball for Ryan under late head coach Andy Hafele. Hafele, 62, died in February 2014 from cancer.

Bob and Bridget Ostaszewski’s fifth child, Mark, 22, played lacrosse and was a quarterback while at Ryan. Bob Ostaszewski shined as a running back for Ryan in the late 1980s.

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK
Archbishop Ryan freshman Dana Bell held Lansdale Catholic to three hits and struck out 11.

Ragdolls freshman righthander Dana Bell held Lansdale Catholic, which committed five errors, to three singles and whiffed 11 in a complete-game effort.

“She throws really hard, but she can also locate,” Kidwell said. “Also, she usually gets ahead in the count.”

Ryan’s Haley Burns reached base on an error to open the home fifth. After Lansdale pitcher Megan Burns notched a strikeout, No. 9 batter Erin Woltemate’s sacrifice bunt set the stage for Ostaszewski’s decisive hit.

Ryan will host String Theory, of the Public League, for the PIAA District 12 Class 5A title at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Lansdale Catholic        000 000 0  –  0 3 5

Archbishop Ryan        000 010 x  –  1 4 1

WP: Dana Bell. LP: Megan Burns. 2B-AR-Bell.