You might not recognize her, but it’s the same Lauren Hagy.
Hagy is a senior outfielder on the Archbishop Ryan High School softball team, and she still has the sweet swing that helped her become a starter as a freshman for the Ragdolls, who went on to win the Catholic League championship.
And she’s still the star who was one of the better hitters as a sophomore when she became a starting outfielder.
But this year, she looks much different. She also feels much better and is able to do more things than she did just two years ago.
It was all due to hard work and dedication.
“After my sophomore year, I started working out a lot more and I changed how I eat,” said Hagy, who lives in Torresdale and plays left field. “I lost 30 pounds from the end of my sophomore year. I still have the power, I hit fourth in the lineup and I feel strong. But I definitely feel better.
“I’m just able to move faster. I feel a lot better playing in the outfield. I even have a few infield hits this year. I think it just takes hard work and dedication. I feel really a lot better.”
She has the Ragdolls feeling pretty good, too.
As a top hitter (she’s hitting just under .400), Hagy helped Ryan run roughshod through the Catholic League this year. The Ragdolls went 9-0 in Catholic League play and outscored their foes 94-34, and in the first round of the playoffs, they disposed of Little Flower 12-2.
Ryan then went on to defeat Archbishop Wood 14-7 to advance to the championship game. The Ragdolls will meet Conwell-Egan on Wednesday at FDR Park. F
It’s been a great year, especially considering the team played only one game a year ago. It was a victory over Penn Charter in a nonleague game and it gave the Ragdolls high hopes heading into the season.
Then the pandemic shut everything down.
“It was hard for all of us, but it was so hard for the seniors,” Hagy said. “I was so close with all of them because I was on the team with them for a few years and it was heartbreaking. It was so hard for all of us, but I think all of us felt worse for the seniors. That was their year.
“I think we were going to be so good, too. We had good seniors who were going to help us. We were worried it was going to happen again this year. I really wanted to play. I felt better after we had a soccer season and then when we had basketball season, I was pretty sure we’d play. But I’m really happy we’re playing again.”
Softball has been fun for the Ragdolls because they’ve played great. But it’s also given the players an outlet at getting back to normalcy.
Ryan is doing a hybrid schedule, so the students are back in school, but they rotate. The Ragdolls have some talented freshmen on the roster, so some players didn’t meet each other until softball season. It didn’t take long for the team to jell.
“We are all so close, the seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen, we all are really close,” said Hagy, who is a captain. “I think after the first month, we got so close. We had to get to know each other, but it didn’t take very long at all. It’s hard. We didn’t even know each others’ names at first, but now we’re all best friends. It’s made the season a lot more fun, I think.”
Hagy has been especially helpful to the younger players because she knows exactly what it feels like to be the new kid on the block on a great team.
When she was called up as a freshman, she slid right into the designated hitter role and played a key role in getting the Ragdolls the plaque.
“It was kind of nice because I could just focus on my hitting and it was great being on varsity,” Hagy said. “It was really cool, I didn’t expect it, but I was pulled up and it was so great getting to win a championship my first year at Ryan.
“Sophomore year, I played outfield, but freshman year, I was just a DH. We won, and I had a great time.”
She was good as a freshman, but she’s improved quite a bit since then.
She credits her coaches, who include her first coach, her dad, as well as Ryan coach John Kidwell and her hitting instructor Bob Bovitt.
“They’ve all been great, my dad has helped me in the backyard, playing with me during COVID,” Hagy said. “(Kidwell) has been a great coach for all of this. Since he called me up as a freshman. He told me I’d be there, no promises, and he helped me a lot. And (Bovitt) is a great hitting coach. He’s helped me so much. He’s helped a lot of players. He’s helped me a lot.”
Next year, Hagy will take that talent to Holy Family, where she’ll continue her softball career, while majoring in nursing.
“I like a lot of things about it,” Hagy said. “I like that it’s close, it’s literally down the street, I can walk there. It has a great nursing program. My aunt is a nurse, I love my aunt, we’re close. And I love helping people, so I think I’d be a good nurse.
“The coach is great, she’s kind of new, I think this is her second year. And I already know a lot of the girls, we follow each other on Instagram. And another senior from Ryan, Deanna Moser, is going there, so it should be good.”
Now she just wants to deliver a memorable end to her high school career. And after that, she’ll deliver in another way. Because of her crazy summer softball schedule, Hagy has had a hard time tracking down a job, but now that she recently turned 18, she found the perfect one.
“I’m going to deliver for DoorDash,” she said. “My schedule is so crazy with softball, you never know when you’re going to be playing, so that’s the perfect job. I think it’ll be perfect for me.”