Cashman cashed in on great senior year

Annie Cashman proudly raises the Catholic League championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Annie Cashman made her presence felt in many ways at Archbishop Ryan.

The Bustleton resident did great in the classroom, where she is ranked in the top 20 of her graduating class.

She was a member of Athletes Helping Athletes, where she would work with special needs students and let them be involved in sports.

She was in the National Honor Society and in the honor society for history and Spanish.

Cashman did it all during her four years at Ryan.

But when reflecting on her time at the school, she knows where her Ragdoll heart lies.

“Sports was the best part,” Cashman said. “I loved every season, but this year was definitely the best. My senior year was perfect.”

Cashman had success at Ryan throughout her career, but it would be hard to top her accomplishments since Christmas.

During the winter months, Cashman helped the Ragdolls’ basketball team open the season with 17 straight wins, which was a school record.

Always a competitor, the guard wishes Ryan ended the season on a winning note, but she’s also realistic and knows her team had a great run before falling in the playoffs.

“I really wanted to win it all, so I was disappointed we didn’t, but we had a great year,” Cashman said. “It was good. We started off great, we just didn’t finish the way we wanted to. But we lost to good teams.”

Softball was the exact opposite.

The Ragdolls came into the spring with three seniors on the roster, so this wasn’t supposed to be a great year at Ryan. But right from the start, everything clicked, and led by Cashman and the other seniors, the younger players followed the lead and it ended with a one-loss regular season and a Catholic League championship.

“The main reason we won was because everyone played well, but I was astonished at how good Dana Bell was,” Cashman said of her freshman pitcher. “I didn’t see her play until the season, I heard she was good, but she was very good. We had a lot of good players, but having her gave us all a lot of confidence.”

Ryan won the Catholic League championship by besting Lansdale Catholic 1–0.

The Ragdolls then defeated Spring Grove 5–4 in the first round, but their season ended in the state quarterfinals when they lost to Lampeter Strasburg 8–2 on Thursday afternoon.

“It feels weird, it definitely hasn’t hit me that it’s over,” Cashman said following the loss. “I think we all wanted to play together for as long as we could, so I really wanted to win. I wanted to go as far as we could because Ryan hasn’t been able to win a lot in the state tournament, but I wanted to win more because I wanted to keep playing.”

Cashman was willing to miss senior week in order to continue her softball career, but now that it’s over, she’ll be able to enjoy the week.

But no matter how much fun she’ll have, it won’t compare to what she did this year.

“This year was just perfect, I think this was the best year I had,” said Cashman, who started in center field. “Especially softball, just because we didn’t know what was going to happen. We just became so close as a team. We really played well together and to go from not knowing how good we’d be to winning the championship. It was perfect.”

It also marks the last time Cashman will play for her school.

Next year, she’s bound for the University of Pittsburgh, where she plans on majoring in business. There’s a chance she’ll play club sports, but she doesn’t plan on trying out for either college team.

“That will definitely be weird not playing, but I wanted to go to Pitt because it’s such a great school,” Cashman said. “I wanted to go to a place I could drive to, but something that wasn’t too close. I checked out Delaware and the Philly schools, but when I went to Pitt, I fell in love. It’s just a great campus and a great school.

“I know I’ll miss sports because even if I play (club sports), it won’t be as competitive. I’ll miss that. I’ll also miss the girls on the team. I loved playing with them at Ryan. It was so great being on both teams.”

And while she’s not planning on playing again, there’s a chance she could be back in uniform again some day.

This summer, she will work both the basketball and softball camps at Ryan, and in the future, who knows if she’ll be back on the sidelines?

“I played soccer when I was little and later I helped coach a team,” said Cashman, who will work this summer at Boyle Playground Day Camp. “I think I would like to coach because I love being around the game and I love competing.

“I’ve been lucky to have great coaches. I love my coaches at Ryan in both sports. I think, later, I would love to coach. It keeps you around the games, and I love that.”