Marcus softball

Marcus senior Haidyn Sokoloski helped lead the Lady Marauders to the regional finals.

After splitting the first two games in their respective best-of-3 playoff series, the Marcus baseball and softball teams had their memorable runs come to an end on Saturday.

The Lady Marauders were bested by El Paso Americas 4-1, while the Marauders had an early lead fizzle late in a 4-2 loss to Keller. 

The Marcus girls' lone run came in the bottom of the sixth inning in familiar fashion, as senior Haidyn Sokoloski belted a solo home run in what would be the final at-bat of her decorated high school career.

Sokoloski's bomb was the only hit the high-powered Marcus offense could muster off of Americas pitcher Mia Perez, who had previously slowed the Lady Marauders in Game 1 of the series, 2-1, on Thursday. Marcus bounced back the following day to take an 8-1 victory in Game 2.

Base runners were tough to come by against Perez on Saturday, however. The Americas pitcher's one-hitter included seven strikeouts, no walks drawn and only senior Mikaela Olguin got on base after being hit by a pitch.

Americas, meanwhile, took charge early with a first-inning solo home run by Christalynne Sepulveda -- the first of three home runs hit by the team in its series clincher.

Overall, Americas out-hit Marcus, 9-1.

The Lady Marauders, who entered the postseason as the No. 4 seed out of District 6-6A after besting rival Flower Mound in a play-in game, were making their first appearance in the regional finals since 2013. That same year, the Marcus baseball team played on to the regional semifinals, but it was in that round where the Marauders' playoff run came to a close on Saturday.

After bouncing back on Friday to even series its series with Keller, Marcus took control of Game 3 early on. Senior Jake Duer led off the game with a double and then scored on a wild pitch for a quick 1-0 lead, and junior Nick Mazzola doubled in senior Jacob Morgan one inning later for a 2-0 advantage.

Marcus only registered one more hit for the rest of the ballgame, which came on a single from senior Nathan Harmon to open the seventh inning.

In between, Keller rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and one in the sixth to pace its return to the regional finals. The Indians scored their first run off a wild pitch and then took the lead on the same at-bat off a two-run single by Ty Zahradnik. 

The Marauders, who split the District 6-6A championship with Coppell during the regular season, were making their second straight appearance in the regional semifinals.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter. Email him with sports story suggestions at mwelch@starlocalmedia.com.

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