By Gianna Addario
---- — DANVERS — The Danvers High softball team had to wait a little over 30 minutes to play yesterday’s Northeastern Conference tilt against Winthrop. The game was delayed after the Vikings’ bus took a wrong turn on its way up Route 1 before finally making its way to Great Oak Park.
The Falcons waited around anxiously for the game to start, which held much more meaning than most regular season contests.
For starters, it was Senior Day for captains Chrissy Gikas and Julia Sagesse, who were honored prior to the opening pitch. The pair walked the bases and were presented with flowers by their parents at home plate. A touching moment, to say the least, as both were flooded by hugs from their fellow teammates.
Once the Falcons dispatched Winthrop, 3-0, another celebration ensued as head coach Tara Petrocelli was feted after her 150th career win with the team.
“She totally deserves it,” Gikas said of Petrocelli. “She works so hard for us in everything that she does. Tara’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”
After the game, Sagesse and Gikas presented Petrocelli with a plaque and roses for her milestone win. Petrocelli appeared humbled by the gesture and was congratulated by many fans, friends and family afterwards.
“I knew heading in, but I didn’t know if the girls had any idea about it,” Petrocelli said of her 150th win. “It’s pretty emotional to me.”
Once that game started it was business as usual and Danvers put up runs in the first, second and sixth innings. The Falcons earned their 13th consecutive win to remain undefeated as pitcher Kendall Meehan fired her ninth shutout of the season. She finished with nine strikeouts and one walk while allowing four hits.
Gikas doubled in the first inning and scored from second off a Caitlin McBride RBI single. Sagesse then sent Devin Johnson home on a RBI double to make it 2-0. Devyn Downs finished things up scoring-wise, knocking in the final run off a base hit in the sixth to close it out for Danvers.
“I think we need to work on our base running a little bit more,” noted Petrocelli. “We ran ourselves out of few innings, but all and all I thought we executed the game plan and played pretty hard.
“Senior Day has always been a special day here,” Petrocelli said. “It’s nice for them to be able to have their moment; they’ve worked really hard and have earned it.”