SWEA CITY - Class 2A top-ranked North Union may have had a few jitters early on as the Warriors began their tournament journey on Wednesday.
But after committing three errors in the first two innings, North Union settled in. An eight-run third inning that broke a 2-2 may have also helped the hosts relaxes as they cruised to a 12-2, five-inning victory over Lake Mills (13-14). The win avenges last year's playoff loss that prevented North Union from getting to state two years in a row.
The Warriors (32-2) advance to host West Hancock (15-10), at 7 p.m., Friday in Swea City. West Hancock won 6-4 over Eagle Grove on Wednesday.
North Union’s Autumn Boland slides into home ahead of the throw from the outfield in an eight-run third inning against Lake Mills on Wednesday.
EDN photo by David Swartz
The Bulldogs were at the plate and after two quick outs. North Union seemed fine.
But then the Bulldogs Sarah Orban reached on a Warrior error and teammate Megan Johnson also reached on an error. North Union recovered from the second error as they tagged out Orban trying to reach third on the second error.
In the bottom of the inning, Allie Ingalls led off with a double and went to third on a passed ball. She scored when Cheyanne Boland hit a ball to right field that was dropper.
North Union leaded the bases as Autumn Boland singled and Collete Haag reached on an error. But then Dena Looft lined out to left field and Lake Mills was able to double up Autumn Boland and second.
North Union managed one more run as Sarah Rolling singled to bring in a second run.
In the top of the second inning, Lake Mills' Ema Anderson reached on the Warriors third error of the game. She went to second on the play and to third on a wild pitch. Cede Byrnes then drew a walk. Katlyn Edes singled to score one run. The Warriors finally got their first out as Jurnee Pena popped out to third baseman Dena Looft. But Kelcey Srp laid down a bunt that got past a charging Ingalls from the mound as the second run scored.
With the score tied at 2-2, the Warriors went down in order in the bottom of the second and the Bulldogs did the same in the top of the third as Ingalls recorded two of her five strikeouts in the game.
North Union went to work with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Autumn Boland, Haag and Looft all singled with Looft's hit driving in the go-ahead run. Haag scored on the sacrifice fly by Rolling.
With two outs, consecutive singles by Sara Johnson, Jasmine Clausen and Peyton Oleson drove in three more runs. Ingalls then reached on the Bulldog's third error of the night as another run crossed the plate. Cheyanne Boland laced the ball inside the right-field line for an RBI triple. A single by Autumn Boland scored courtesy runner Kyarsten Mullen as North Union led 10-2.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Lake Mills came up with a two-out single from Amelia Evensen and Johnson drew a walk, but Anderson popped up to second base to end the threat.
Lake Mills would not get another chance to bat.
North Union again went to work with one out. Oleson led off with a single, which was followed by a double to the right-center field gap, by Ingalls. Cheyanne Boland singled to drive in one run. Autumn Boland then laid a bunt down the first base line and Ingalls beat the throw home to end the game by the 10-run rule.
North Union finished with 14 hits. Autumn Boland was 3-4 with two RBIs; Cheyanne Boland was 2-4 with two RBIs; Ingalls was 2-4; Oleson was 2-3 with an RBI; Rolling was 1-2 with two RBIs; Looft, Johnson and Clausen each were 1-3 with an RBI and Haag was 1-3.
Ingalls earned the win as she gave up four hits while striking out five batters and walking two.