EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 7, 2013

Around the Horn with Chrissy Scionti, Methuen softball

Michael Muldoon

---- — Methuen softball coach Jason Smith calls his ace pitcher Chrissy Scionti “a tremendous, tremendous kid.” He added, “She always has a smile on her face. She’s uplifting to others.”

The senior co-captain, a returning all-conference pitcher, is also uplifting to the program.

In this week’s Around the Horn, Scionti talks about nearly giving up the sport last year, coming back from a torn labrum, dealing with the loss of her pitching mentor and meeting Bill Clinton.

What are your goals for the season? “For myself, I want to pitch a no-hitter. For the team, we want to make it past the first round of the states.”

What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “Coming back from my surgery last year and I was all-conference.”

What happened with the surgery? “I got hurt at the Methuen Invitational Tourney in June of freshman year. It wasn’t until October they told me I needed surgery. I had a torn labrum. I was out the entire season. That was tough. I didn’t even know if I wanted to come back.”

Why did you come back? “The biggest thing was I was afraid of getting hurt again. Coach (Jason) Smith and Mrs. (Jackie) Rubino are the best coaches ever. They kept telling me how much they relied on me and I could get through it. I was the only returning pitcher.”

When did you know you were back? “Probably the first game. That gave me the most confidence.”

What’s it like having a freshman catcher? “It’s Kathleen LeFebre. She is so good.”

Coach Smith said you are a fierce competitor but happy-go-lucky off the field. “Before games, I don’t talk to anyone. I’m in the worst mood. Once we get through the first two innings, I’m all set. I can start joking around again.”

What are the pros and cons of having your mother (Susan Scionti) being a secretary at the high school? “The worst thing is she knows who gets suspended and why. But if I ever need to get out of class, I can see her.”

How has your father (Jay Scionti) been involved in your career? “He used to be president of Methuen Girls Softball.”

When did you start pitching? “The first game was when I was 7 with the Rock Cats. Dad was my coach. Just on a whim I said I’ll try and I loved it.”

How are you doing academically? “I’m 59th in the senior class out of 422. I want to go into nursing. I’m deciding between University of New England, UMass Amherst, UMass Boston and Quinnipiac.”

Do you play any other sports? “I did cheerleading in the fall and winter.”

What’s something people don’t know about you? “I like to spin in circles in the kitchen. I do it all the time.”

Are you from an athletic family? “My cousin, Kaitlyn Arsenault, is the Salem pitcher.”

How did she end up a pitcher, too? “We started at the same time. She’s had great success, too. We had the same pitching coach, Larry Keber.”

He was well respected. Was it difficult when he died a couple years ago? “It was really sad. Even when he was sick, he’d e-mail me all the time. I’ve known him forever.”

What’s your pitching philosophy? “My new favorite pitch is a riseball. I’m just learning it. We have a new pitching coach, Brittney Kannan, she’s helping me a lot.”

Will you play softball or cheer in college? “No, I’m all done. The plan was to play softball in college. It was a big decision. I decided I wanted to be a nurse. My cousin is a nurse and told me how hard it is. I’ll focus on what I’ll do the rest of my life.”

What’s your dream job? “I want to work at Children’s Hospital in Boston. I have scoliosis and had to go there every six months. The doctors there are amazing. I really want to do something like that.”

You had a back brace? “I had one in 6th and 7th grade. It was huge and it had Tweety Bird on the side of it. I almost never wore it because I didn’t want people to make fun of me.”

Who’s your dream date? “Tyler Seguin.”

What is your pet peeve? “People in school when they stand in the middle of the hallway and talk. I’m definitely one of those people!”

Who do you follow on Twitter-Facebook? “Shawn Johnson and Aaron Hernandez.”

Do you have any pets? “A dog named Boomer. He’s a Border Collie.”

Why the name? “It was thunder and lightning out when we got him.”

Have you ever met anybody famous? “We met Bill Clinton at Dulles Airport. We got to shake his hand.”

What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua.”

If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “Seniors could leave for lunch.”


Group or singer: Drake

Song: Power Trip

Book: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

App: Wanelo

Actor-actress: Reese Witherspoon

Movie: Sweet Home Alabama

TV show: Pretty Little Liars

Athlete: Aaron Hernandez

Food: My mom’s baked ziti

Car: Baby blue BMW convertible

Restaurant: Panera

Teacher: AP English with Mrs. (Paula) Simone