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No. 5 Garrigan softball edges North Union, 5-2

Vanessa Von Bank

ALGONA, Iowa — Back-to-back games against state-ranked softball opponents resulted in North Union’s first two losses of the season.

After Iowa Class 2A No. 6-ranked Central Springs ended the Warriors’ five-game winning streak to kick off the coronavirus-abbreviated summer Thursday night, the Class 1A No. 5-ranked Bishop Garrigan Golden Bears clawed out a narrow 5-2 Top of Iowa Conference victory over North Union on Friday night in Algona, Iowa.

Senior ace hurler Amanda Miller fired a four-hit complete-game gem, while leadoff batter Madison Meister went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to propel Garrigan into sole possession of the West Division. The Golden Bears and Warriors each entered Friday night’s contest at 2-0 in divisional action.

Madison Meister walked, stole second base, reached third on the overthrow and scored the first of Garrigan’s three first-inning runs on Mackenzie Meister’s RBI single. Mackenzie Meister eventually crossed the plate on a wild pitch before Emma Fogarty circled the bases on Aubree Altman’s RBI double. Fogarty had drawn a base-on-balls.

North Union freshman ace right-hander Emily Meyer then needed the minimum of three pitches to pitch a perfect bottom of the second inning. First baseman Maggie Engelby made an unassisted putout before third baseman Cassie Beadle caught back-to-back foul popups to quickly exit the diamond.

Engelby then thwarted Miller’s no-hit bid by drilling an infield hit to the hole at shortstop to lead off the Warriors’ top of the third inning.

Madison Meister singled and scored a solo run on Miller’s RBI hit for Garrigan in the bottom of the fourth to extend the home team’s lead to 4-0.

Vanessa Von Bank finally spoiled Miller’s shutout bid during North Union’s fifth at-bat. Von Bank lined a leadoff single, wheeled to second base on Shelby Fraker’s bunt hit and advanced to third on Engelby’s sacrifice bunt. Von Bank crossed the plate on Ella Ulrich’s RBI groundout to trim the gap to 4-1.

Bailey Meister later walked, reached third base on Madison Meister’s double and scored on Miller’s RBI groundout in the sixth to restore the Golden Bears’ four-run margin.

Vanessa Von Bank, however, answered with her second run of the contest during the top of the seventh. Von Bank reached on an error, gained second on Fraker’s bunt and scored on Ulrich’s single to left field.

Miller notched her third and final strikeout of the game to seal her complete-game victory in the seventh. Miller allowed two runs — one earned — on four hits and walked one in seven innings of work.

Meyer gave up five runs — four earned — on seven hits, struck out three and walked five in six frames to absorb the loss for the Warriors.

North Union (5-2, 2-1 West) plays host to Lake Mills at 6 p.m. Monday night in Swea City.

Bishop Garrigan (7-2, 3-0) is scheduled to travel to Buffalo Center on Monday night to face North Iowa.

NU 000 010 1 — 2 4 1

BG 300 101 x — 5 7 2

Emily Meyer (LP) and Kaylee Tirevold. Amanda Miller (WP) and Mackenzie Meister.

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