SWEA CITY - Cheyanne Boland has earned a reputation as one of the top defensive catchers in the Iowa prep softball ranks.
Add line-drive hitter to the North Union junior signal-caller's diamond resume.
Boland went a combined 5-for-5, including her first-ever home run, with five runs scored and two RBIs to power the Iowa Class 2A, No. 1-ranked Warriors to a pair of 12-run rule victories over the Corwith-Wesley-Luverne Panthers on Friday night in Swea City.
HOPPING HITTER — North Union hitter Allie Ingalls goes airborne in the batter’s box while avoiding a low delivery to Corwith-Wesley-Luverne catcher Liz Carlton during Game 1 of a Corn Belt Conference softball doubleheader Friday night in Swea City. (Photo by Chip Pearson)
Ironically, Boland chatted with teammates in the dugout about how she "had never ever hit a home run" after congratulating Allie Ingalls and Harley Lindell on their pair of two-run round-trippers during North Union's 14-1, three-inning Game 1 rout.
Boland changed her hitting history for good during the bottom of the first inning of Game 2, swatting a line-drive solo homer over the left-field fence. Boland's 3-for-3 performance helped engineer the Warriors' 12-0, three-inning triumph.
"I could tell that she was thrilled about hitting her first career home run as she circled the bases," North Union head coach Art Ingalls said in reference to his No. 2 batter's powerful connection. "I told her earlier this season that when she least expects it, she'll hit one, and that's what happened."
Boland and the Warriors erupted for a total of 21 hits, including 11 for extra bases, during the Corn Belt Conference doubleheader, while right-hander Collete Haag nearly pitched two perfect games, albeit three-inning outings, inside the chalked circle.
Haag recorded four strikeouts without issuing a walk in facing the minimum of nine CWL batters in earning a perfect game in Game 2. The hard-throwing right-hander also collected the Game 1 victory by striking out six, walking one and giving up one unearned run on one hit in three innings of work.
With Haag handcuffing the Panther batters in the opener, the Warriors pounced to an early 5-0 lead in the home half of the first inning.
Allie Ingalls walked, Boland singled and both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch by CWL starting pitcher Sadie Poldervaart. Haag then assisted her own cause by hammering a two-run double to the left-center gap.
Haag later crossed the plate when Lindell's hot grounder to third was mishandled before Lindell eventually scored on a wild pitch. Dena Looft, who had reached on a fielder's choice that yielded no out, crossed the plate on Jasmine Clausen's RBI double down the left-field line.
Ingalls then drilled a two-run homer to trigger a five-run second at-bat in the opener, with teammate Taylor Mathine scoring on the clout. Mathine had reached on an error.
Boland walked, Tori Johnson belted a double into the left-field corner and Boland trotted home on Haag's sacrifice fly. Tori Johnson later scored on Lindell's second homer of the season to extend the Warriors' lead to 10-0 after two completed frames.
Boland set the table in the bottom of the third with a leadoff single, wheeled to second on an error and moved to third on Haag's sharp single.
Lindell collected one of her six RBIs on the twinbill by drawing a bases-loaded walk before Sara Johnson blasted a three-run triple to deep center to end Game 1 via the 12-run rule.
It was more of the same in Game 2 as Boland's homer ignited a five-run first at-bat for North Union. Tori Johnson walked and scored on Lindell's RBI double before Lindell slid home two wild pitches later.
Looft singled, Sara Johnson singled home pinch runner Anna Bauer before Sara Johnson literally stole her way home for a 5-0 margin.
A Panther error, Sara Johnson's double and a walk to Clausen set the table for the Warriors' seven-run bottom of the third in Game 2.
Autumn Boland notched an RBI fielder's choice before a double-steal produced another North Union run. Cheyanne Boland drilled an RBI double before Tori Johnson slugged a run-scoring single to center. Haag singled before Lindell ended the doubleheader by lashing a two-run double to the left-center gap.
Lindell went 3-for-5, including a homer and two doubles, with a twinbill-best six RBIs to complement four runs scored. Sara Johnson went 3-for-5, including a double and a triple, with five RBIs; while Haag went 3-for-5, doubled, scored three times and drove in three runs during the two-game sweep.
Jamie Studer collected CWL's only hit during the two-game span in the third inning of Game 1.
North Union (7-0) faces host Estherville-Lincoln Central at 11:15 a.m. today at the ELC Invite in Estherville, Iowa.
CWL 001 - 1 1 3
NU 554 - 14 10 1
Sadie Poldervaart (LP) and Liz Carlton. Collete Haag (WP) and Cheyanne Boland.
LOB-North Union 4; CWL 2. 2B-Tori Johnson (NU), Haag (NU), Jasmine Clausen (NU). 3B-Sara Johnson (NU). HR-Allie Ingalls (NU), Harley Lindell (NU). SF-Haag (NU).
CWL 000 - 0 0 3
NU 507 - 12 11 0
Poldervaart (LP) and Carlton. Haag (WP) and C. Boland.
LOB-North Union 4; CWL 0. 2B-Lindell (NU) 2, C. Boland (NU), S. Johnson (NU). HR-C. Boland (NU).