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Bridesburg’s Diorio cherishes softball memories

Mya Diorio has a million memories of high school softball.

And even though her career is still going strong, she cherishes every one of them.

Diorio is a senior first baseman on the Archbishop Ryan High School softball team, and when you have the career she’s had, there are a lot of great things to pick from.

She could think of the many massive hits she has had during her stint on the varsity squad, which started when she was a freshman.

It could be the dynamic defensive plays, something she has become quite proficient at in the past few seasons.

Or it could be helping her Ragdolls advance to the Catholic League championship game in three of her four years as a member of the program.

And while all of those memories will be things Diorio revisits with her teammates when she’s long graduated, none of them are what means the most to her.

In fact, what she cherishes the most wasn’t on the field.

“I think the best part of this whole thing has been being around the team and the friends I’ve made over the past four years,” said Diorio, who lives in Bridesburg. “That is what made it so much fun. Just everything.

“The trips to Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) were so much fun. We didn’t go as freshmen because of COVID, but every other year, it was the best. We lived together, we would go out to eat, we would do all kinds of activities. This year was so much fun, we just all got along and had fun together.”

High school softball has been everything for Diorio, and it nearly ended months after it began.

“I actually was going to quit softball after my freshman year,” Diorio said. “I had a really tough tournament softball season over the summer and I really thought about not playing anymore. I had some tough coaches and I could not hit a ball to save my life. It caused me to not see much playing time that summer and I was ready to throw in the towel. 

“I decided to give it another shot and switch teams and I fell right back in love with the sport. Ever since, I’ve loved playing the game and have committed to play another four years. I’m a completely different person and player than I was before and this experience has only helped me grow for the better.”

That shows what hard work can do. From nearly quitting because she wasn’t playing well to being one of the most feared hitters in the Catholic League, Diorio made the right decision sticking it out. And the Ragdolls are better for it.

During her career, three times she helped Ryan get to the championship game. This year, just like last year, Ryan advanced to the championship but fell to a tough Conwell-Egan team. This year it took extra innings. Sure, the goal was to win the title, but making it is a great accomplishment, especially when it helped the Ragdolls reach another goal.

“It meant a lot to get there because we want to play as many games as we can together,” Diorio said. “It means so much to all of us. And now we get to play on in states. I think that definitely makes it easier. We still have games together and we get to play at least one more.”

Diorio hopes to have a great run in states, which would keep this team together for as much as a few weeks.

But she’ll be involved in the sport in the future. Next year she’s going to Gettysburg, where she will play softball. 

“I fell in love with it, it had everything I wanted, a great school and a great softball program, and I really love the coach,” said Diorio, who will major in health science or psychology. “I have always loved science since I was little. My mom is a psychologist, I see what she does. I love what she does. I’m thinking maybe sports psychology. 

“Growing up in this game you learn how much mental toughness that you need to play. This game is 90% mental and playing for all these years has inspired me to want to do this. I want to help other athletes with their game, and to be able to perform to their best. Since my mom is a licensed marriage and family therapist, I’ve gotten to see the work she’s done over the years, and she has inspired me to go down this career path.”

Diorio has a big summer ahead of her. She will play a lot of softball and try to squeeze in some vacation time between her jobs. She works at Outback Steakhouse and FlynnO’Hara. 

But being busy is nothing new for her. At Ryan, she is the secretary of the National Honor Society, and is in the Social Studies Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Ambassadors and Athletes Helping Athletes and is a Diocesan Scholar. 

She is quite busy, but she credits her coaches, teammates and of course her family with helping her.

“My family has made huge sacrifices for me all of these years and I’m very grateful,” she said. “My parents have done countless road trips, hotel stays, 5 a.m. wakeup calls and traveled up and down the east coast to help me become the player I am today.

“My dad was my first coach when I was 5 playing tee ball for the Bridesburg Cougars. Ever since he’s played a major part all throughout my career. He has inspired me to constantly work hard and train while also being my biggest cheerleader along with my mom and my brother. My little brother, Bobby, has also been a huge part of my career. He has been dragged to softball fields since he was 5 and has grown up around the sport. I know that he will always be there for me and to root me on.” ••

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