, Salem, MA

June 24, 2013

Gikas, North take down South in Agganis Softball Classic

By Gianna Addario
Staff Writer

---- — LYNN — Danvers’ Chrissy Gikas led her team to a 19-2 record this season and a Northeastern Conference Small title in the process. It was only fitting that she would have a similar role in yesterday’s 16th Agganis Softball Classic at Fraser Field.

Gikas lit up the plate in the North’s 15-3 victory over the South. The 18-year-old NEC all-star went 2-for-3 on the day, including an RBI triple in the sixth inning — and was flawless in the infield. Gikas even decided to try a one-handed, behind the back bunt at one point, which was a show within itself, earning MVP honors for the North.

The Endicott-bound second baseman, played shortstop yesterday and made some key outs for the North. She also pitched the final inning of the game, and helped turn a double play.

“It’s great way to end, it’s been an awesome four years,” said Gikas who captained the Falcons for the past two seasons. “I learned some of those moves my freshman year and thought why not in a game like this.

“I used to pitch before high school and just wanted to really give it a shot. It’s nice to be able to all come together from the area and get this win.”

The North, which has won the last nine out of 10 meetings against the South, also saw strong play from Peabody’s Jess Raymond, Mikayla Wallace and Olivia Brothers, Danvers’ Julia Saggese, Masconomet’s Sammie Martin and Beverly’s Aimee McKenna — all of whom reached base in the win.

Gikas got things going for the North early on with a RBI single in the first, while another runner scored on an error to go up 2-0.

Lynn Classical’s Danielle Moran, the South MVP, knocked in a run for her team in the second to tie the game at 2-2.

St. Mary’s Colleen Newbury coached the South and started ace Brooke L’Abbe, but brought in Phillips Andover’s Abi Chung (Swampscott) to throw the middle innings. Chung hadn’t pitched since her Little League days, but accepted the challenge on the hill.

“It’s a lot a fun to be here,” said Newbury, who was a star player for Fenwick in the 90’s. “I think the last time I coached this was against my former coach Ed “Buddy” Henry in 2009 and that was extra fun.”

With the North up 12-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, and two runners on, Newbury brought in nine infielders to field Gikas’ at bat. Gikas, who normally bunts every time up, hit shot to right field over the heads of the South’s many infielders.

“Coach Henry did a similar thing against me, so I thought I’d try it to,” Newbury joked after the game. “Loved that Chrissy got up and wound up with a triple out of it.”

Brothers did some of the catching early on in the game, while Wallace played her normal spot at first and Raymond was out in center field.

“It was hot behind the plate, but the game makes it fun,” said Brothers. “I’m friends with a lot of the girls that we play against during the regular season, so it was fun to be on the same team with them.”