SWEA CITY - Beating a team the third time in any sport can be a tough task.
Class 2A No. 1 North Union couldn't pull off the feat against a good Lake Mills team.
The Warriors were in control for 4 1/2 innings with a 7-1 lead when the Bulldogs rallied for eight runs to take a 9-7 lead.
Top-ranked North Union committed one too many errors to overcome as the Warriors lost to Lake Mills on Friday.
EDN photo by Chloe Rosdail
North Union had only one base runner the final two innings as Dena Looft reached on a two-out error in the sixth inning as Lake Mills held on for the victory.
North Union had beaten Lake Mills 5-0 in the season opener and played the Bulldogs again on June 26 in the regular season finale-an 8-0 victory.
This time Lake Mills pitcher Josie Brackey settled down after giving up four runs to the Warriors in the first inning and two in the fourth. She finished the night with 12 strikeouts against North Union who is hitting around .400 as a team this year.
The Warriors scored their final run of the night when No. 9 batter Autumn Boland reached on an error and scored when Allie Ingalls reached on an error.
The Bulldogs' rally began with a North Union error. A pair of singles followed to load the bases. A double scored two runs and another single reloaded the bases.
Megan Johnson then hit the second double that scored two runs and cut the deficit to 7-5.
The Warriors finally got an out when a Bulldog base runner was called for interference. But Lake Mills managed a couple more hits and took the lead on a bloop single and then added an insurance run.
Lake Mills finished the night with nine runs on nine hits with three errors.
North Union had seven runs on seven hits with six errors.
Allie Ingalls took the loss for the Warriors who finish the season with a 30-5 record.
After finishing second in the state in Class 1A a year ago, North Union had high hopes for this season with several players returning to the lineup.
The Warriors will have another chance to make a run next season as they lose two seniors to graduation-Harley Lindell and Tori Johnson.
Lake Mills advances to Monday's region final in Algona against Emmetsburg, who defeated West Lyon 5-1 on Friday.