We are happy to introduce you to the newest members of our Softball squad: meet Ingrid, Henna, Jen, Ronja and Cheyenne.
YING-JUI HSU (AKA INGRID)
Ingrid is 29 years old and originally from Taiwan. Her Chinese name is æ«»ç‘ž (pronounced Ying-Jui, obviously).
Ingrid is possibly one of the most important new members of the Challengers softball team, because as she is currently doing a PhD study in Earth Sciences at ETH, she has agreed to give all Challengers advanced warning of any expected volcanic eruptions. Respect.
Baseball is the most popular sport in Taiwan, so it is only natural that Ingrid would gravitate to the sport back in her home country. Ingrid started playing softball as an undergraduate student back in Taiwan. After being introduced to the sport, she played for her universityâ€™s womenâ€™s softball team (mostly slowpitch), playing pitcher as well as other infield positions. She was a bit rusty when she arrived in Switzerland so in many ways is learning all over again.
Ingrid loves the teamwork involved in softball â€“ particularly how everyone has a different position in the field but all are equally important. Additionally, the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC) finished in March and, as a massive baseball fan, Ingrid was really impressed and inspired.
Ingridâ€™s decision to join the Challengers came as most great decisions do â€“ she was drunk at a party and met someone who introduced her to Leandra. And the rest, as they say, is history...
Ingrid says, â€œitâ€™s a pleasure to join this team, improve my skills, and most importantly â€“ enjoy all the training and games with the Challengers!â€.
Henna is 36 years old and originally from a tiny place in northern Finland called Oulunsalo. She has been living in Switzerland for 7 years.
Henna currently works in the IT Department of Credit Suisse as a Financial Controller and Portfolio Manager. She also drives a sweet Mustang.
Henna was actually scouted and recruited for the Challengers when she was spotted by Werner Zingg practicing Finnish baseball (pesÃ¤pallo) in her back garden on her own. She agreed to join the Challengers at first to see the differences between Finnish baseball and softball. Her other sporting hobbies include unihockey and kickboxing. Do not make her angry.
The best part of the Challengers, according to Henna, is the open and international team we have. She enjoys learning and every practice picks up something new. She hates jogging, so the fact that we donâ€™t warm up by jogging for hours is also a bonus.
Henna is looking forward to improving her batting, adjusting to the larger sized softball, and learning the hand signals when sheâ€™s up at bat during the season.
Henna says, â€œI hope the team will have a good and successful season and I can support the team to win lots of games!. So do we Henna, so do we.
Jen is 32 years old and originally from New York, then Boston in the USA. Before moving to Switzerland, she spent 12 years living and working in the UK.
Jen is currently one of Switzerlandâ€™s top dog walkers (although this statistic has yet to be confirmed) and is looking forward to fruitful employment of some description in the very near future. Jen is also currently training to run the Jungfrau Marathon in September to raise money for charity.
Growing up in the USA with a father who is a softball coach, softball was always in Jenâ€™s future. She played Little League from the age of 8, eventually playing on the New York regional team (The Westchester Diamonds), and in high school, being named named All American in softball, basketball and field hockey many moons ago. When she moved to the UK, Jen joined the Brighton League team Hove Tuesday, a slowpitch mixed team who ended up being League Champions and coming third in all of the UK at the national slowpitch tournament in their second year of existence. Not bad when one considers beers were consumed before, during and after games regularly. It is very different to Switzerland.
Jen came to the Challengers through volunteering with an ex-Challenger who introduced her to Leandra, and a beautiful friendship was formed. Jen really enjoys being a part of the lovely team and seeing how so many new players have joined and improved over the months. Sheâ€™s really looking forward to an enjoyable summer playing softball and learning German.
Ronja is 18 years old and originally from MÃ¤nnedorf. She will soon be graduating from the Kantonsschule KÃ¼snacht and moving on to study Health Sciences and Technology at ETH.
Ronja was introduced to softball through her friend (and fellow newcomer), Cheyenne La Marr. They both played softball and baseball at school and really enjoyed it, so Cheyenne did a google search for softball clubs in ZÃ¼rich and low and behold found the Challengers. Cheyenne started with the club first and eventually convinced Ronja to give it a shot â€“ and here she is!
Ronja enjoys the fielding aspect of the sport so far â€“ she originally found it a bit confusing but improves every day and is now regularly training at second base. Her other favourite part about softball is the team â€“ everyone is really nice, friendly and willing to help. Most importantly the team is patient with her and the other new players and really passionate about helping them improve in softball.
Ronjaâ€™s personal softball goal is to not mess up in a game and not make any mistakes â€“ especially not striking out by looking - AHEM! She would really like to score some runs for the team and is working hard to improve at every practice.
Ronja says, â€œmy goal with the whole team is to win, of course, and most importantly to have a lot of fun!â€. BOOM.
CHEYENNE LA MARR
Cheyenne was born in Richterswil and moved to MÃ¤nnedorf when she was young. She is also 18 and in the same class as Ronja, also about to graduate. She will be attending the University of ZÃ¼rich to study English and Mathematics shortly.
As with Ronja, Cheyenne played baseball and softball at school and really enjoyed it. She decided to google search on teams in ZÃ¼rich where she could continue to play and came across the Challengers, eventually convincing her good friend Ronja to join, too.
Cheyenneâ€™s favourite part of softball is the batting and her favourite position is first base. She works really hard to improve at each and every practice and is looking forward to a fantastic and successful season with the Challengers.