WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- With one week left in the regular season, the Taconic softball team is on a roll.
Unfortunately, that roll will not continue into the post-season.
Taconic won its third straight game on Thursday, beating Mount Greylock, 18-2 to improve to 6-11 with three games left in the regular season.
With a .500 record an impossibility and a top-two finish in the rugged Berkshire County North Division equally out of the question, Taconic is playing for pride down the stretch.
And Thursday’s win shows that first-year coach Jaclyn Candelet’s squad has a lot to be proud of.
Mary Lee went 4-for-5 with a double and a pair of RBIs and struck out six in a complete-game victory in the circle. And Taconic played flawless defense behind her while cashing in on 10 Mount Greylock miscues.
For a Taconic team whose season includes six losses by four runs or fewer, Candelet’s team may be one of the best squads on the sidelines when Western Mass tournament play gets underway.
“We did have a few games at the beginning of the season that come back to bite us,” Candelet said. “The Agawam game (7-6), the East Longmeadow game (8-4), the first game against Greylock (8-5) -- even last week against Mount Everett (14-10), there are a couple of games that you look back at now and just shake your head and say, ‘We had it and we lost it.’
“Now, we’re in that position where we don’t have enough games left to make the tournament.”
After winning three games in a little more than 24 hours, it was apparent that Taconic is not ready to pack it in this spring.
“It’s nice that they haven’t given up,” Candelet said. “Even in the games where we have been ahead and we’ve lost -- and we’re losing because we have one bad inning it seems every game -- we haven’t given up. I have to give it up to these kids. They fight every single inning, every single game.
“It’s a good character to have, and it’s nice to see because it’s going to carry over into next year. I’m only losing two kids, so it’s going to be awesome.”
Taconic jumped on top early on Thursday, scoring three unearned runs in the top of the first, an inning that saw Lee drive in a run with a double to right.
The lead stretched to 5-0 in the second and ballooned to 10-0 in the third when Taconic pounded out six hits. Addison Lyon, Taylar Ostrander and Ellianna Christopher each drove in a run in that five-run rally.
Taconic picked up one in the fifth and two in the sixth to have a chance to end the game an inning early with a 13-0 advantage.
This time, it was a short-handed Mount Greylock team’s turn to not give up.
The Mounties (11-6) rallied for a pair of runs to stay alive.
Sam Trybus got things started with a single up the middle, and Kat Hoffstedt and Taylor Callahan followed with base hits to load the bases with nobody out.
Lee got the next two hitters to ground to second baseman Aubrey Lazits, who fired home to get the lead runner. But with two out, Kayla Cerveira singled to right-center to score Callahan and Kate Bernardy to make it 13-2.
In the top of the seventh, Taconic used five hits to score five more runs and put the game away.
The Mounties, who qualified for Western Mass back on May 14, will have to go to the tournament without the pitcher who got them there.
Freshman Lily Lesieur, who threw a no-hitter in that postseason-clinching win, watched Thursday’s game with a cast on her wrist after sustaining an injury in practice.
Senior Nakita Thompson was pressed into service and walked just one hitter on Thursday while being hurt by 10 Mount Greylock errors.
“I thought she came in kind of last minute and did a nice job for us on the mound,” Mount Greylock coach June Blake said. “She kept the ball over plate and made them put the ball into play.
“Defensively, we just didn’t have our best day. I thought we gave them some extra bases, and they hit the ball hard.”
Mount Greylock has a fast turnaround, making the short trip to face Drury on Friday afternoon.
Taconic hosts Pittsfield on Friday.