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Warriors ground Eagles to remain perfect on season

SPRINTING BACK — North Union runner Hope Steinberger, shown alertly sprinting back to second base during season-opening softball action against Okoboji on June 16 in Swea City, produced three hits and scored four runs to help the Warriors defeat West Hancock during Monday night’s game in Britt, Iowa. The Warriors improved to 4-0 on the season. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells/Sentinel Archives)

BRITT, Iowa — North Union actually played a regulation seven-inning softball game Monday night, but the final result proved yet another double-figure margin of victory.

Olivia Von Bank and Hope Steinberger continued their high-octane offensive performances from the batter’s box to power the Warriors to a 13-3 Top of Iowa Conference triumph over the West Hancock Eagles in Britt, Iowa.

Olivia Von Bank went 4-for-4 with a triple and sacrifice fly en route to generating a game-best four RBIs and crossed the plate three times to help power North Union to its fourth consecutive win to open the coronavirus-amended prep campaign.

Ironically, Steinberger, who went 3-for-4 with a game-leading four runs scored to complement one RBI, got the Warriors’ batting order revving during the top of the second inning after Olivia Von Bank triggered a solo run in the first.

Olivia Von Bank lined a two-out single, swiped second base, wheeled to third when Maggie Engelby’s infield popup was dropped and scored following back-to-back walks issued to teammates Vanessa Von Bank and Emily Meyer, respectively, for a 1-0 edge.

West Hancock answered during the home half of the first with a pair of runs by combining a North Union error with a walk to Kamryn Eckels, Carlee Bruns’ RBI single and Ann Horstman’s run-scoring groundout.

The Warriors quickly countered by utilizing their speed on the base paths during the top of the second. Ella Ulrich walked and raced all the way to third base on Sam Nielsen’s sacrifice bunt. Ulrich then scored on a wild pitch to knot the game at 2.

Steinberger displayed her speed by lining a single and sprinting all the way to third on Cassie Beadle’s sacrifice bunt. Steinberger coasted home when Olivia Von Bank crushed a towering RBI triple for a 3-2 lead.

The Eagles knotted the game at 3 when Jade Cook reached on an error, moved to second on Bella Rosin’s single and scored on Eckels’ RBI hit during the last of the second frame.

The Warriors then put the game out of reach by plating three in the fourth, one more in the fifth, four in the sixth and two in the seventh.

North Union ace right-hander Emily Meyer then retired 16 of the final 19 West Hancock batters she faced through five shutout innings of work. Meyer recorded nine strikeouts, walked two and allowed only one earned run on four hits in seven innings pitched to earn the complete-game victory.

Nielsen legged out an infield hit to set the table for North Union in its fourth at-bat before Steinberger singled Nielsen home. Steinberger, who stole second base, then circled the bases on Olivia Von Bank’s RBI single. Von Bank then swiped back-to-back bases before scoring on Engelby’s sacrifice fly for a 6-3 lead.

Kaylee Tirevold singled, courtesy runner Shelby Fraker moved to third on Ulrich’s single and Fraker scored on Nielsen’s RBI groundout in the fifth.

Olivia Von Bank’s RBI hit, Engelby’s sacrifice fly, Vanessa Von Bank’s double, Meyer’s single and Tirevold’s two-run single triggered the green-and-black attack’s four-run sixth en route to an 11-3 lead.

Nielsen and Steinberger then delivered back-to-back hits in the seventh before scoring on Olivia Von Bank’s sacrifice fly and Engelby’s single, respectively.

Eckels went 2-for-3 with a run scored and one RBI to top the Eagles.

Bella Rosin struck out four, walked five and gave up 13 runs on 15 hits in seven innings of work to take the loss for West Hancock.

North Union (4-0) hits the road to Spencer, Iowa, on Wednesday night.

NU 120 314 2 — 13 15 3

WH 210 000 0 — 3 4 4

Emily Meyer (WP) and Kaylee Tirevold. Bella Rosin (LP) and Dru Hagen.

LOB–North Union 8; West Hancock 6. 2B–Vanessa Von Bank (NU). 3B–Olivia Von Bank (NU). SF–Maggie Engelby (NU) 2, O. Von Bank (NU) 1. SAC–Cassie Beadle (NU) 2, Sam Nielsen (NU).

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