A group of second graders were playing soccer and needed another teammate.
In stepped Megan Wolf, who ended up more than holding her own, despite being — are you ready? — in kindergarten.
“That just goes to show you that I literally can’t remember not playing sports,” said Wolf, now a senior two-sport standout athlete at Archbishop Ryan. “I get bored if I am not active doing something.”
In Ryan’s dramatic 5-4 Catholic League quarterfinal victory over visiting Cardinal O’Hara on Saturday, Wolf did her typical job of getting on base from the leadoff spot. She also contributed a huge defensive play in the fifth inning that probably saved one run — and maybe more.
As the game wound down to the later innings and neither team was able to take control, Wolf remained confident that the Ragdolls would find a way to advance to a semifinal meeting with Conwell-Egan. (The game, scheduled for Monday, was rained out and was to be made up on Wednesday after the Times went to press.)
“The last two years ended before they should have,” said Wolf, referring to Ryan’s consecutive losses to St. Hubert in the Catholic League semifinals. “We beat ourselves, but it wasn’t going to happen again this year.”
Instead, the Ragdolls began the home seventh with sophomore pitcher Nikki Michalowski reaching on an error. She moved to second on a perfectly placed ground ball to the opposite side by sophomore Catherine Hammer. Freshman Kerri Dadalski then hit a grounder to deep short. Her hustle turned what would have been an infield single into a single and throwing error by O’Hara’s shortstop, allowing Michalowski to round third and reach home for the triumph.
The Ragdolls went crazy with enthusiasm.
“Such an exciting win,” Wolf said. “We did a lot of the little things well and it ended up making the difference.”
Recently selected as a first-team All-Catholic first baseman who also plays left field, Wolf has hit a scintillating .491 this spring. Then again, hitting well has come rather naturally to Wolf.
“My dad had to take me off the tee ball team because I hit the ball too far,” she laughed. “I love to hit.”
She also loves to play basketball.
A 5-foot-6 point guard, Wolf was first-team All-Catholic as both a junior and senior. She has already committed to the University of the Sciences, where she will play basketball and major in pharmaceutical and health-care business.
“I want to be a legal drug dealer,” she quipped.
Wolf also might try out for softball in college, although she said it “depends on how school goes.”
Considering her background, it wouldn’t be surprising if Wolf does play both sports. At Ryan, she is also school vice president and a two-time member of the National Honor Society, which is only open to upperclassmen.
She also ranks 26th in her class of more than 400 seniors, a testament to her academic abilities.
“I literally live at the school,” she said. “I’ll miss Ryan so much next year. I don’t even want to think about that right now.”
Nor does Coach Andy Hafele, who took over the Ryan program in 1994 and promptly won a league title the following year.
In all his days as Ryan’s coach — almost two decades worth — Hafele said he has never encountered a better player.
“She’s an all-around great kid,” he said. “When you picture what our team is all about, just think of Megan and then you will know. She epitomizes all you want a player to be.
“She does all of the little things,” he continued. “Never misses a day of practice. She will be sorely missed.”
Wolf said that one of the major advantages she has of being able to play two sports is that the stamina needed for basketball in the winter translates nicely into dusting off a glove and bat in the spring.
“After such a fast-paced sport, softball is more relaxing for me,” she said. “I’m already in shape so I can just work on other things. I enjoy both sports even though they are very different.”
And the physical demands?
“I’m always a little sore, but hey, I’m young,” Wolf said. “When I’m older, I’ll be paying for it.”
For the rest of the Catholic League, that time can’t come soon enough. ••EndFragment