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Pastino has the Ragdolls rolling

Sabrina Pastino is one of the top hitters in the Catholic League. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Sabrina Pastino has a lot in common with her twin sister Samantha.

They love hanging out together, they are each other’s best friends, and they always support each other.

But when it comes to sports, they don’t always see eye to eye.

“I love softball and she loves soccer,” said Pastino, a junior left fielder on the Archbishop Ryan High School softball team. “It’s good though, I like having softball for me and she loves having soccer for her. I go to her games, I go to almost every single one of them. She comes to mine, too, but I go to more of her games than she goes to mine. But we are always there for each other.”

Let’s hope Samantha enjoys watching playoff softball, because the way the Ragdolls are playing, there will likely be a lot of postseason games again for Ryan.

The defending Catholic League champs were hit hard by graduation. The Ragdolls didn’t return a lot of veterans this year, so it would have made sense for the team to struggle early before the girls found their footing.

Didn’t happen.

The Ragdolls were great from the start and now sit at 8-1 with one game remaining in their Catholic League schedule. They sit atop the tough league heading into the final week of the season.

“It was hard to do well because we had seven starting seniors graduate, and they were really good leaders,” Pastino said. “A lot of girls had to move around. We have a lot of girls who didn’t play before come back and they’re playing really well. And a lot of people are playing different positions, so we’re still learning to play together.”

Pastino is one of those players playing out of position.

She’s a natural first baseman, but Ragdolls coach John Kidwell needed to reshuffle the lineup and the new card has Pastino playing in the outfield. It’s been a slight adjustment for Pastino, who did log some time when she was younger in left field, so she’s getting more and more comfortable with her new role.

“I like first base more, but for Ryan they needed me to play left field, so I’m trying,” Pastino said. “It’s a big difference but I’m doing pretty good. I played a lot during winter workouts, so I got some experience there.

“I was good with giving away my position. I played it all last year, every game, but if I had to give up to someone, I was glad to give it up to Mya (Diorio). We help each other. If I can help her, I’ll definitely do it.

“I knew coming in I was going to play there, so it gave me time to prepare. It’s going pretty well, I think I’m doing OK. I played it a lot when I was younger, like 10 or 11, so I think I still got it. I’m still getting better.”

So are the Ragdolls.

During Catholic League play, they’ve had just one hiccup, a loss to Conwell-Egan, the team Ryan knocked off in the Catholic League championship game a year ago. That loss kept the Ragdolls from posting back-to-back undefeated seasons, but they’re still on pace to finish atop the standings, which would put them in great shape to repeat as the champs.

That’s the goal, and according to Pastino, it’s a very achievable goal.

“It’s very important for us to win and get off to a good start because last year we had so many seniors, people thought we wouldn’t be as good,” said Pastino, who lives in Torresdale. “We’re proving to people we are the same team, the same mentality, we’re getting the job done. It would be big if we could win this year because I don’t think people expect us to.”

If they do win, she won’t just be helping the team on the field.

She’ll be sharing it with all of the fans.

Pastino runs the team’s Instagram account, where she posts pictures and vidoes of the season. She’s not the one shooting them, she’s busy on the field, but after games, she takes control.

“A lot of kids my age use (Instagram) more than Facebook,” said Pastino, who is also a member of Athletes Helping Athletes. “And I love AHA, it’s so much fun. We play soccer, T-ball, whatever. We just have so much fun playing together. It’s a great experience for them and for us.”

When she’s not uploading highlights to Instagram, she’s providing them on the field.

She’s hitting .652 with two home runs, four doubles and three walks. One of her hits was a grand slam that helped the Ragdolls knock off Archbishop Wood in a close game.

“I think I’ve grown a lot as a player, and as a leader,” Pastino said. “I came in as a freshman and I got in two practices, a scrimmage and one at-bat (a single). After that it was shut down because of COVID.

“Last year I got comfortable and this year I’m more comfortable as a leader. I’m proud of the team, I think we’ve done really well so far and we’re going to keep working. I don’t think people expected us to be this good. We just want to keep doing well.”

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