Warriors sweep 2 from Bison
BUFFALO CENTER, Iowa — Back-to-back gems.
North Union freshman ace right-hander Emily Meyer faced only two batters over the limit in hurling her second consecutive no-hit shutout during the pandemic-condensed Iowa high school softball season.
Meyer recorded six strikeouts and issued only one walk in three hitless and scoreless innings of work, while Olivia Von Bank and Hope Steinberger combined equally for six hits and six runs to trigger the Warriors’ 17-0, run-rule shortened Top of Iowa Conference rout of the North Iowa Bison on Wednesday night in Buffalo Center.
Steinberger, who went 3-for-3 with a walk, set the offensive table for North Union during the top of the first inning by lining a leadoff single before advancing to third base on back-to-back wild pitches. Steinberger then trotted home on the first of Olivia Von Bank’s game-best four RBIs via a one-out single to left field.
Von Bank later swiped second base and circled the bases on Maggie Engelby’s RBI double to center to double the Warriors’ margin to 2-0.
Ironically, Steinberger and Olivia Von Bank pounded out two hits apiece, including one extra-base blast each, to serve as the catalysts behind North Union’s 14-run offensive avalanche during the top of the second inning.
After Kaylee Tirevold and Ella Ulrich drew back-to-back walks to open the second at-bat, Sam Nielsen followed with an RBI groundout. Steinberger then launched a triple off the left-field fence before scoring on Cassie Beadle’s sacrifice bunt.
Olivia Von Bank then hammered an RBI single before Engelby and Vanessa Von Bank each walked. Meyer assisted her own cause with an RBI bunt hit before two more Warriors scored when Tirevold’s grounder was thrown away.
Ulrich cranked an RBI double, Nielsen had a run-scoring sacrifice bunt and Steinberger legged out an infield hit. Beadle walked before Olivia Von Bank drilled a two-run home run to center. Vanessa Von Bank added an RBI single to extend the lead to 16-0.
Nielsen walked and literally stole second, third and home to highlight the Warriors’ solo run in the third.
After issuing a two-out walk to North Iowa’s Leah Kramersmeier in the bottom of the first inning, Meyer retired seven consecutive Bison to cap her second consecutive no-hitter to start the season.
North Union (2-0) travels to Fort Dodge, Iowa, tonight to face St. Edmond in a 7:30 p.m. game at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex.
NU 2 (14) 1 — 17 10 1
N. Iowa 0 ( 0) 0 — 0 0 1
Emily Meyer (WP) and Kaylee Tirevold. Leah Kramersmeier (LP) and Mackenzy Jensvold.
LOB–North Union 3; North Iowa 2. 2B–Maggie Engelby (NU), Ella Ulrich (NU). 3B–Hope Steinberger (NU). HR–Olivia Von Bank (NU). SAC–Cassie Beadle (NU), Tirevold (NU).
North Union 13, North Iowa 8 — Brendan Anderson delivered two of his team-best three RBIs during a pivotal four-run top of the sixth inning to help the Warriors pull away from the Bison during Top of Iowa Conference action Wednesday night in Buffalo Center.
Clinging to a 9-8 lead during a back-and-forth contest, Anderson slugged a two-run double to put North Union ahead on the scoreboard for good.
Noah Morphew went 2-for-6 with a double and a triple to top the Warriors’ six-hit offensive attack. The key to the game, however, was North Union’s ability to capitalize on 10 received walks from North Iowa’s pitching trio of Jacob Hofmann, Hunter Meinders and Cedric Frerichs and six hit batters to manufacture runs.
Noah Morphew doubled and later scored the game’s initial run on Anderson’s sacrifice fly during the top of the first inning.
Max Schaefer’s RBI triple and Kade Hobbs’ run-scoring single paced North Iowa’s three-run second at-bat to later grab a 4-2 lead before Jay Heinen’s RBI single helped North Union even the score at 4 in the top of the third.
The Warriors combined back-to-back singles by Avery Krantz and Kegan Boland, Carter Morphew’s bunt that produced no outs and Luke Schmidt’s misplayed grounder into three runs during a four-run fifth for a 9-5 lead.
Hobbs’ two-run double in the last of the fifth narrowed the Bison’s deficit to 9-8 before Anderson’s two-run double in the sixth put the game out of reach.
North Union starting pitcher Braden Pierce allowed eight runs — four earned — on 13 hits in seven innings to net the win. Pierce struck out four and walked one.
North Union (1-1) hosts Okoboji tonight in Bancroft.