Freshman year, Meghan Kidd was around for the ride.
Junior year, she helped drive the bus.
Kidd is a junior third baseman on the Archbishop Ryan High School softball team, and two years ago when the Ragdolls won their third straight Catholic League championship, she was a late-season call-up, but she was used in a reserve role.
Last year, she became a starter at designated hitter, but the season ended in the semifinals.
This year, the Ragdolls regained the crown, and for Kidd, it feels a lot different than it did when she hoisted the plaque as a freshman.
“It was really one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced,” said Kidd, who whacked a double in Ryan’s 1–0 victory over Lansdale Catholic on Friday at La Salle in the championship game. “It felt so good to win it. I think because we didn’t win it last year, it kind of showed us how hard it is to win it, so when we did, it was great.”
Kidd continued to be one of the best hitters for the Ragdolls this year, leading the team in RBIs and carrying one of the top averages on the team.
But this year, she also contributed with her glove at a new position.
“I was a first baseman, but we had a good first baseman and I really wanted to play the field,” the Somerton resident said. “So I worked really hard with (her club team, the Nightmares) and I learned how to play third. It’s a lot like first because it’s a corner (infield) position, but it is the hot corner, so it was a little adjustment.
“I asked our coach (John Kidwell) if I could do it, and he let me try it. It worked out. I worked hard, and it worked.”
That adjustment proved to be the right call for the Ragdolls.
Ryan lost just one game in the regular season, then went on to win three playoff games to secure the title.
Against Lansdale, the star of the show was freshman pitcher Dana Bell, who struck out 11 while twirling a three-hitter.
The Ragdolls won this year despite having just three seniors on the roster. That makes Kidd happy for a few reasons.
“I know you want to win as a senior, and our seniors have meant so much to us,” Kidd said. “We have one at shortstop, one in center field and one at catcher, so they are all really important to us, and I wanted to see them win another championship before they left.
“I’m really excited now because we have so many good players coming back, so hopefully we can have a good year next year, too.”
It’s not quite time to worry about her senior year, though.
Ryan will play the Public League Class 5A champion in the city championship, with both teams moving on to the state playoffs.
“I really think we could win a few games,” Kidd said. “Our pitcher is doing so well right now. She’s taking a lot of pressure off of us. She’s giving us a chance to win every game.”
Kidd has enjoyed a fantastic junior year away from softball, too.
This year, she made All-Catholic in swimming, where she competes in the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke events.
“I love swimming, too, but I think softball is my favorite,” Kidd said. “Swimming is fun, and it definitely keeps me in shape for softball.
“I swim and do CrossFit, and both of them really help me. You work your legs and your arms, which helps your hitting and your throwing. I work out starting in the fall and through the winter, so when softball season comes, I’m usually in the best shape.”
When she’s not building a better softball player, she’s helping build up the confidence of her friends.
This year, when she signed up for the Ryan Ambassadors Club, the students were asked if they could start a program that the school doesn’t have, what would that be.
Kidd, who loves sports, teamed up with classmate Dylan Daniels, and they decided the school needed an Athletes Helping Athletes program, which marries athletes with special-needs athletes to give them a chance to see what it’s like to be a star.
“We decided that was the one we wanted to do because it’s two things we love, sports and helping people, and we went to the president of the school, who helped us,” Kidd said. “It was great. It really helps them, and we love doing it because it’s fun to see how happy they are.
“To me, that was the best thing I did all season. I really was happy winning the championship, and making All-Catholic was fun, but the most important thing I did this year was help with the Athletes Helping Athletes. To me, that was the best thing I did.”