Mount Greylock Comes Back to Edge Taconic

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – A.J. Pelkey hit a three-run home run to help the Mount Greylock softball team erase an 8-0 deficit.
And she gunned down a runner attempting to steal second base to seal a 9-8 win over Taconic on Tuesday afternoon.
“It feels so great,” Pelkey said of the Mounties’ comeback. “And, honestly, it shows the potential we have, that we’re able to come back from being down by that much.”
Mount Greylock, which started the year with a 1-5 record, has been showing its potential over the last couple of weeks. The Mounties are now 6-7 and have won four of their last five after Tuesday’s home win.
Madi Barber earned the win in the circle, allowing just one hit in five innings of relief and improving her record to 2-1 this season. On Saturday, she went 3 and two thirds innings, giving up no earned runs to earn the win in a 23-12 decision against Hoosac Valley.
“It seems like every time she goes out there, she gets more confident,” Mount Greylock coach Mark Pierson said of Barber. “I think that’s a lot of it, having the confidence to know you can do the job.
“She threw strikes, and the defense made plays behind her. Pretty simple.”
The Mounties played error-free ball over the last five innings and made a number of big plays in the field down the stretch.
All three outfielders ran down a fly ball to deny a hit. Third baseman Addison Pause turned a double play to erase a threat in the third inning, snaring a line drive and firing to Kelsey MacHaffie at first to double off a runner. And Pelkey, who started the game in the circle, moved behind the plate and snagged a foul popup in the sixth before ending the game by firing to shortstop Kayleigh Jaros to catch a runner attempting to advance on a pitch in the dirt.
Taconic jumped on top early, scoring five runs on five hits in the top of the first inning.
Abby Soto, Toni Ahoussi and Stef Satrape each drove in a run with a single back-to-back-to-back at the end of the rally.
In the top of the second, the Thunder went ahead 8-0 thanks in part to Soto’s RBI single and Ahoussi’s RBI double.
Taconic starting pitcher Cheyanne Goddard retired the side in order in the first and held Mount Greylock to three runs through three innings to maintain an 8-3 lead.
But the Mounties got their bats going in the bottom of the fourth.
Lydia Gaudrea got things going with an infield single to lead off the inning. She moved up on a couple of pitches that got to the backstop and scored from third on Caleigh Kiernan’s RBI single to left to make it 8-4.
Mila Marcisz reached on an error to put two runners on base, and, with one out, Pelkey launched a ball over the fence in left-center to make it 8-7.
The Mounties went on to load the bases with two out, but Goddard got a ground ball to Satrape at second to end the inning.
Mount Greylock threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth.
A leadoff error and a couple of ground ball outs left a runner on first with two out for Pelkey, who doubled down the line.
The runner from first attempted to score, but Taconic shortstop Kylie Duhamel took the relay from left fielder Belle Hadsell and fired to catcher Jianna Gilmore-Kruger, who got the tag down to deny the run and end the inning.
But Mount Greylock would not be denied an inning later.
MacHaffie hit a one-out single to right, and Barber reached on a two-out walk to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. Then Vayda Larabee smacked a double to left center to bring both runners home and give the Mounties a 9-8 lead.
“Senior captain, it’s great for her, and she’s doing well,” Pierson said of Larabee, who upped her batting average to .370 on Tuesday.
Barber got the first two outs in the top of the seventh on fly balls before Kruger reached with her second hit of the day. She attempted to get into scoring position on a pitch that bounced to Pelkey, but the Mount Greylock catcher made the stop, hopped up and delivered the ball to second in time for the out.
Taconic (4-7) saw a two-game winning streak come to an end. But, considering the challenges faced by the Thunder coming into the game, coach Bree Goddard was happy with the way her team battled.
“We’re a young team, and we’re learning,” Goddard said. “We’re down to [nine players] today. We’ve had some injuries and some illnesses so, really, that hurt us today.
“When you’re missing your leadoff batter and some of your strong fielders, it hurts.”
Taconic hosts Turners Falls on Thursday.
Mount Greylock (6-7) goes to Frontier on Wednesday.
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