COLLEYVILLE — It was fitting that two evenly matched teams would have an intangible decide Game 3 of the Class 5A Region I semifinal series.
So when a gust of wind blew a simple fly ball just past the outstretched arms of second baseman Kaitlyn Alderink, Flower Mound Marcus scored the only run it needed in a 1-0 win over Keller.
Marcus (31-7-1) advances to the regional final against crosstown rival Lewisville next week.
Keller ended its season at 30-6-1.
“Obvoiusly it’s not a great feeling, but this was a great series,” Keller coach Lindsay Strong said. “It’s not how I wanted the season to end for these seniors or how I wanted my coaching career to end, but I don’t think there’s anything else we could have done.”
Strong will have her first child over the summer and has decided not to return next season.
Marcus pitcher Hannah Null and Keller’s Kaylee Rogers were spectacular throughout the series.
Rogers pitched 42/3 innings Saturday, giving up no runs and just two hits before Marcus’ Molly Conklin came to the plate with one on.
Conklin struck a shot on a 1-0 pitch that appeared initially headed for the shallow part of right-center field.
As Alderink took a couple of steps back, a strong gust blew the ball back toward the pitcher’s circle and the sophomore transfer couldn’t gather it in her glove.
Bonna Molina scored to decide the game and the series.
“That play really had no bearing on the series as a whole, because in order to win the game, we had to score a run to win as well, and we didn’t do that,” senior shortstop April Ryan said. “For me I didn’t really want to think too much about strategy, I just wanted to hit the ball and look for my pitch. She [Null] pitched a great game.”
Null struck out six. She tossed a two-hitter Saturday and improved to 23-3 for the year.
Rogers was charged with the only run of the game and gave up two hits in the first and two in the fifth. She struck out four Saturday and nine for the series to finish 15-4 on the season.
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