Warriors overpower Vikings 12-2

FIELDER’S CHOICE — North Union shortstop Maddie Rolling (middle) gets ready to throw to first to try for a double play after receiving a flip from second baseman Vanessa Von Bank (right). Northwood-Kensett runner Kennedy Eskildsen (12) stands on second after being called out. (Photo by Greg Abel)

SWEA CITY — The Warriors offense put so many runners on the basepaths, they started to dig tracks.

North Union beat the Northwood-Kensett Vikings 12-2 in a five-inning, run-rule shortened game during Top of Iowa Conference play Tuesday night in Swea City.

The Warriors’ offense heated up in the third inning.

Emily Meyer led off the frame with a single and Kaylee Tirevold followed with another single, but Meyer’s courtesy runner, Sam Nielsen, was caught trying to advance to third. Hope Steinberger got the first run of the inning across when she plated Tirevold’s courtesy runner, Ella Ulrich, on a double down the third base line.

Steinberger moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a dropped third strike, which also allowed Cassie Beadle to reach first.

Olivia Von Bank then singled to right center and Ariel Olson hit a line drive between short and third to score Beadle. Olson and Olivia Von Bank both scored when Shawna Person lined a hard single to left center.

By the end of the third inning, the Warriors led 6-2 and seven of the North Union starters had at least one hit, while the Warriors sent nine batters to the plate in the frame.

North Union head coach Kim Price said she was pleased with the Warriors’ performance on senior night.

“They came out and were ready to play defense and hit the ball,” Price said. “It took an inning or two to get on pace with that pitcher, but once they started making contact, it was just hit after hit and everybody was doing their part. … We had some excellent defensive plays, it was just all around a good showing. … I’m super proud of they way they came out. We got down one run, but we just didn’t let it affect us at all. We came back powered through and made it happen.”

The other two starters would collect hits when the Warriors once again got every batter to the plate in the fifth inning.

Maddie Rolling, Olson, Person and Vanessa Von Bank led off the inning with four consecutive singles, with Olson plating one run and Vanessa Von Bank hitting in two more.

Tirevold collected a hit and an RBI in the inning, while both Meyer and Olivia Von Bank reached on errors, allowing the Warriors to score five runs and create their final 12-2 lead, ending the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Meyer pitched all five innings for the Warriors. She gave up only three hits and three walks on the way to a two-run outing.

Meyer worked out of a jam in the second inning. After getting a quick lineout, the Vikings’ Peyton Pangburn singled to right field and Meyer walked the next two batters to load the bases.

Meyer then collected one of her four strikeouts before Northwood-Kensett’s Carly Hengesteg hit a flare to short left-center for two RBIs. Meyer forced another lineout to short to end the inning without any more damage.

Steinberger had two doubles in the matchup, while Beadle had a hit and two runs scored. Olivia Von Bank and Rolling each had a single and a run scored, while Olson had two hits and two runs scored.

Person had two hits and a run scored, while Vanessa Von Bank had a hit and a run scored and Emily Meyer had a hit, a walk and two runs scored. Tirevold rounded out the Warriors’ lineup with two singles, a sacrifice bunt and a run scored.

With only a partial game left to be completed before the Warriors begin their playoff run, Price said she is happy with how the team has progressed.

“I feel like all the little things that we were struggling with at the beginning of the season, we’ve worked really hard at chipping away at those things and coming together,” Price said. “We’ve decreased our defensive errors, we’re hitting the ball more consistently and I feel very confident that this team has the ability to make it past game one and give a good run in regional play.”

North Union (13-16) ends its regular season at 10 a.m. today when the Warriors complete their matchup with Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayshire from Monday night in Terril. North Union will then wait a week for its first-round matchup in the Class 2A Region 5 playoffs, where the Warriors will play host to Sioux Central on July 10.

The Vikings (11-11) travel to Rockford, Iowa for a 6 p.m. Top of Iowa Conference matchup today.

NWK 002 00 — 2 3 3

NU 105 15 — 12 13 1

Kayla Senne (LP) and Allie Carman. Emily Meyer (WP) and Kaylee Meyer.

Winning run scored with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

LOB–NWK 4, NU 4. 2B–Hope Steinberger 2 (NU). SAC–Kaylee Tirevold (NU).