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Meyer powers No. 2 NU to rout

HIGH-FIVIN’ — North Union slugger Emily Meyer (left) and Warriors’ head softball coach Kim Price exchange high-fives after Meyer hammered a three-run homer during the bottom of the third inning in Monday night’s Top of Iowa Conference game against Lake Mills in Swea City. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

SWEA CITY — Occasionally, a negative effect in prep sports can trigger a positive reaction.

Ask North Union ace pitcher and No. 3 batter Emily Meyer.

Meyer recorded a game-best 13 strikeouts to pace hurling a three-hitter and backed her complete-game pitching performance by going 3-for-4 at the plate, including cranking a towering three-run HR, to power the Iowa Class 2A No. 2-ranked Warriors to a 10-1 softball triumph over the Lake Mills Bulldogs on Monday night in Swea City.

“After striking out during my first at-bat, I was definitely motivated the next time up,” said Meyer, whose drive over the left-field fence plated Sam Nielsen and Cassie Beadle, whom each had singled to reach base. “I hit a pitch earlier in the count deep, but it went foul.”

Ironically, until the Warriors’ six-run offensive outburst on the strength of five hits in the bottom of the third, Meyer and Lake Mills right-hander Dottie Byars had retired a respective nine and six batters consecutively.

Libby Stevens, who collected three of the Warriors’ 11 hits on the game, led off the bottom of the third by singling to right field off of Byars. Shelby Fraker legged out a bunt hit and Ella Ulrich drew a walk to jam the bases for Nielsen.

Nielsen, who went 2-for-4, smacked a two-run single off of the third base bag and into left field before Beadle followed with an RBI single up the middle. Meyer then capped the run production with her team-leading fifth HR of the summer.

After issuing a one-out walk to Brynn Rognes in the top of the fourth, Meyer retired seven Bulldog hitters in a row before hitting a rare rough patch with two out in the top of the sixth.

Natalie Brandenburg spoiled Meyer’s no-hit bid with a single up the middle, Rognes followed with a hit to center and Madison Edwards ruined Meyer’s shutout bid with an RBI single to left. Meyer limited the damage by recording her 12th strikeout.

Meyer, who demonstrated her stellar control by issuing only one walk in seven innings pitched, worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh to seal the win.

Stevens triggered the Warriors’ three-run fourth at-bat before Nielsen doubled and crossed the plate on Naomi Jones’ RBI groundout for one more North Union run in the sixth.

Stevens led off the home team’s fourth by doubling to the left-center gap before taking third and eventually scoring on a pair of wild pitches. Fraker, who had walked, later crossed the plate on Ulrich’s sacrifice fly to left. Beadle then legged out a bunt hit and eventually scored when Meyer drilled an RBI single just off the Bulldog shortstop’s outstretched glove in the outfield grass.

Byars allowed 10 runs on 11 hits, struck out six and walked three in six innings pitched to absorb the loss for Lake Mills.

North Union (27-3) wraps up the regular season by traveling to Eagle Grove on Wednesday night for a 6 p.m. doubleheader. Lake Mills (11-7) plays host to North Iowa on Wednesday night.

LM 000 001 0 — 1 3 0

NU 006 301 X — 10 11 0

Dottie Byars (LP) and Madison Edwards. Emily Meyer (WP, 27-3) and Shelby Fraker.

LOB–North Union 4, Lake Mills 3. 2B–Sam Nielsen (NU) and Libby Stevens (NU). HR–Emily Meyer (NU) #5. SF–Ella Ulrich (NU).

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