Warriors, Meyer tame Broncos, 12-2

FIRING STRIKES — North Union starting pitcher Emily Meyer hurls a strike to the plate against Belmond-Klemme during Top of Iowa Conference softball action Wednesday night in Swea City. Meyer went on to record a career-best 14 strikeouts in the Warriors’ 12-2, six-inning victory. (Photo by Greg Abel)

SWEA CITY — North Union ace right-hander Emily Meyer pounded the strike zone early and often during the undefeated Warriors’ Top of Iowa softball clash with the unbeaten Belmond-Klemme Broncos on Wednesday night.

The hard-throwing Meyer displayed outstanding control by recording a career-best 14 strikeouts without issuing a walk to help guide North Union to a 12-2, six-inning triumph over Belmond-Klemme in Swea City.

“I just threw the pitches the coaches (head coach Kim Price and assistant Jack Von Bank) called tonight,” said Meyer, who allowed only one earned run on four hits in six innings of work to earn the complete-game victory.

Meyer struck out eight of the first nine Bronco batters on the game, and retired four of Belmond-Klemme’s hitters twice via strike three. North Union’s sophomore ace set down the first 11 Broncos in a row before Allison Barrus spoiled Meyer’s no-hit bid with a fourth-inning single.

“Emily has gone three games this season without walking a batter, and issued just two walks in five total games,” said Price. “Her first-pitch strike rate is very high this season, and I like how she works ahead in the count and stays ahead.”

With Meyer silencing the Broncos’ bats, Vanessa Von Bank and Meyer staked the Warriors to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Cassie Beadle drew a one-out walk and Olivia Von Bank was plunked by a Maddison Dougherty delivery before Beadle circled the bases and Olivia Von Bank wheeled to third base on Vanessa Von Bank’s towering RBI double to left field. Olivia Von Bank later tagged and crossed the plate on Meyer’s sacrifice fly to center.

Meyer assisted her own cause again in the fourth inning by lining a leadoff single to left. Courtesy runner Beth Strueber moved to second on a walk to catcher Kaylee Meyer, who was replaced on the bases by courtesy runner Aliyah Jones.

Strueber and Jones advanced a base when Maggie Engelby legged out an infield hit to short before Strueber crossed the plate when Sam Nielsen’s comebacker to Dougherty was thrown wide to first base.

Olivia Von Bank then hammered her first home run of the summer to trigger North Union’s seven-run bottom of the fifth. Olivia Von Bank slammed a solo shot to left before Vanessa Von Bank followed with her second double of the game.

Emily Meyer reached on an error before Shelby Fraker beat out a high-chopping infield grounder to load the bases. Engelby belted an RBI single to center before another run scored on a Broncos’ wild pitch.

Ella Ulrich singled home a run, Nielsen collected an RBI via a groundout, Beadle’s second of three hits on the night plated another run before an error on Emily Meyer’s sharp grounder allowed another run to score for a 10-1 lead.

Ahead 10-2 going in the last of the sixth, Ulrich served as the catalyst behind North Union’s two-out rally. Ulrich walked, took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Nielsen’s single.

Ulrich and Nielsen, who had gained second on an uncontested steal, both circled the bases on Beadle’s walk-off two-run single up the middle.

The Broncos scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth when Ashlynn Willms singled before courtesy runner Ella Negrete scored on the Warriors’ only error of the game with two out.

Addie McMurray doubled and scored on Barrus’ RBI single in the top of the sixth to deliver Belmond-Klemme’s second run.

Maddison Dougherty allowed 12 runs on 12 hits, walked four, struck out one and hit one batter in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss for the Broncos.

North Union (5-0) plays host to Iowa Class 1A, No. 1-ranked Newell-Fonda at 6 p.m. tonight in Swea City.

Belmond-Klemme (4-1) plays host to North Iowa on Friday.

BK 000 011 — 2 4 4

NU 200 172 — 12 12 1

Winning run scored with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Maddison Dougherty (LP) and Ashlynn Willms. Emily Meyer (WP) and Kaylee Meyer, Shelby Fraker (5).

LOB–North Union 9, Belmond-Klemme 3. 2B–Vanessa Von Bank (NU) 2, Addie McMurray (BK). HR–Olivia Von Bank (NU). SF–Emily Meyer (NU).


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