Nachdem die NLA am Donnerstagabend die Lions gleich mit 17-1 nach 6 Innings besiegten, verlief der Rest des Baseballwochenendes für die Challengers erfolglos.
Die NLA musste sich in beiden Spiele gegen den Tabellenersten Cardinals geschlagen geben, während auch die NLB und die 1. Liga alle ihre Spiele verloren. Ausser für die 1. Liga - für welche am nächsten Samstag noch ein Turnieriertag ansteht - haben alle Challengers Teams für die Dauer der EM Pause.

Diese fängt übrigens am Montag, 22. Juli 2013 im Heerenschürli an! Für jene von euch, welche noch keine Tickets haben, weiter unten im Text wird auf die Ticketverkaufs-Webseite verlinkt.
Thursday July 11, 2013 - by Chris Palatinus
The Challengers extended their winning streak to five games with a 17-1 six inning mercy-rule victory over the Zürich Lions on Thursday night, July 11. Bryan Shemley delivered a game-high three hits, while Thomas Burger tossed a complete game, as he allowed one run and five hits with five walks while also striking out four.
Game Recap
Saturday July 13, 2013 - by Chris PalatinusPhoto Album
The Challengers were swept by the reigning Swiss champion Bern Cardinals on Saturday, July 13 at the Heerenschürli. The Cards stopped the Challengers winning streak at five, as their pitchers kept the Challengers' bats quiet the whole day. Bern broke a 3-3 tie by scoring four runs in the sixth and seventh innings en route to an 8-4 victory in Game 1, before they celebrated a 4-0 shutout win in Game 2. The C's remain in third place with a 13-5 record, but they are now three games behind the first placed Cardinals.
Game 1 Recap - Game 2 Recap
Sunday July 14, 2013 - by Alex Gordon
After suffering through their semi-annual butt-kicking by the Cardinals in Bern, the schedule seemed to offer the Challengers' NLB team a reprieve in the form of the Jona Bandits. Coming into Sunday's games with a record of 3-13, Jona was locked in a tight battle with the Unicorns for last place, and had just endured their own whupping at the hands of the Cardinals. For the Challengers, two wins would put them into a tie for third with Sissach, a team that the Challengers had already swept earlier in the season. After the the Challengers stumbled their way to two embarrassing losses however, last place seemed like a much likelier destination for NLB than third.

Unlike the previous set of games against Bern, the Challengers expected to win twice against the Bandits. In the first game, Jona's pitchers tried their best to help the visitors, issuing 14 walks (14!!!!!!). But time after time the Challengers failed to capitalize, leaving 11 runners on base (including leaving the bases loaded in both the 4th and 5th innings).   

Trailing 1-0 with one out in the top of the 5th, center-fielder Alex Gordon led off with a walk, stole second, and took third on a wild pitch. Shortstop Kurt Kovac followed with a walk and steal of his own, putting two runners in scoring position and bringing second-baseman Carlos Nepomuceno to the plate. Having cranked a mammoth ground-rule double in his last AB, Carlos came through again with an RBI single to score Gordon. Three pitches later, Kovac hustled home on a wild pitch and the Challengers led 2-1. The lead could have been bigger, but, for the second straight inning, the Challengers left the bases loaded.

The Bandits regained the lead in the bottom of the 5th, with an assist from the Challengers' defense. After pitcher Dean Scherbaum hit the Bandits' number 9 batter to lead off, former Challenger Halvar Dil lofted a fly to right fielder Daniel Strolz that was misplayed into a two-base error, allowing one run to score. A single and a sac-fly made it 3-2 Bandits, which quickly became 4-2 when a long-fly to center was misread by Gordon and ended up as an RBI double.

Trailing 4-2 in the top of the 6th, the Challengers again quickly put runners in scoring position after Strolz was hit by a pitch and catcher Yasuke Azuma singled. A wild pitch put runners on second and third with no outs for the heart of the Challengers' batting order. Maintaining consistency, however, neither Gordon nor Kovac could get the runners home. Following a two-out walk to Nepomuceno, it was up to third-baseman Renzo Falcone - and he delivered a 2-RBI single to center. Unfortunately, Nepomuceno was thrown out at third and the inning ended there.

The score was tied at 4, heading into the bottom of the 6th, but it wouldn't stay that way for long. After striking out the first batter, Scherbaum walked the next hitter and was lifted for reliever Oli Christen. Unfortunately Christen was unable to find the strike zone, issuing 5 walks and throwing two wild pitches in the course of allowing 7 runs in just 1/3 of an inning. While the Challengers managed to tack on three runs in the top of the 7th, with the help of another 4 walks from Jona pitchers, the Bandit lead was never really in danger. Jona took the first game 12-7.

If the first game was frustrating (and it was), the second game was humiliating. It's one thing to get mercied by Bern when you're missing several starters. It is quite another thing to get mercied by Jona, who had already lost 13 games on the season. After leaving yet ANOTHER runner in scoring position in the top of the first, the Challengers were down 6-0 before getting another chance to hit. Starter Kovac walked 8 of the 11 batters he faced in the first inning, managing to record only two outs in an uncharacteristically poor performance. Kovac did drive in the Challengers' lone run in the top of the 6th, but by that point it was 12-0 and the game had  - for all intents and purposes - been decided long ago.

Having been mercied in three of their last four games, the Challengers need to pull themselves together, and fast. More lifeless efforts like the one they put forth on Sunday are simply not going to cut it.
Sat/Sun July 13 & 14, 2013 - by Michel Romang
Photo by Truck Star Dulliken
See all photos from Saturday and Sunday
The 1st league team had a tough weekend – schedule- and result-wise. Two games on Saturday in Lucerne vs. the Zurich Lions West and the Zurich Eighters West and two games on Sunday at Heerenschürli against the same opponents. All four games were unfortunately lost - three by a wide margin and one (Sun vs. Eighters) by a score of 10-13. The lack of pitching depth was once again the main reason for the defeats. On Saturday only 10 players were able to show up for the games in Lucerne. Therefore, the SG Challengers/Truck Star had to play with U15 prospects like Jeffrey Pomuceno, who made his first appearance in a Challengers’ uniform.

The first game vs. the league-leading Lions was expected to be a tough game as the experience and depth of the opponent is considerably higher than the SG’s one. However, the game started off promising with Torbjörn Olsen reaching 3rd with only one out. But Ryan Koley struck out, Michel Romang was hit by pitch and with 2 outs, Corsin Jost grounded out to short without a run crossing home plate. After that, things got worse quickly. In the bottom of the 1st the Lions scored 11 runs, helped by 3 errors by the SG’s defense. In the 2nd inning, the SG started a rally by loading the bases with no outs. The only harm done was a 2-run single by Nick Motte (making his 2013 debut). Thommen then settled in and kept the Lions at 4 more runs. The Truck Star/Challengers countered with only one run despite having guys on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Starting Pitcher Thommen reached his pitch count limit with one out and was relieved by Michel Romang, who just had his first bullpen session on Wednesday. After struggling to find the zone at the beginning, he finally got into some rhythm, but the Lions scored 7 more runs that inning. With its last chance, the SG loaded the bases once again with no outs, but only managed an RBI ground-out. Hitting 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and two pitchers making their 1st league debuts, the reasons for the 22-4 loss were easily detected.

In the second game of Saturday’s gameday vs. the Eighters any hopes disappeared pretty much with the first pitch. Starter Torbjörn Olsen (also making his pitching debut) struggled mightily to find the strike zone. After about a dozen runs, only two balls in play and no outs, he was relieved by Michel Romang. After 48 minutes a nightmarish top 1 was over. With some redemption in mind, Cedric Thommen led off the inning by reaching 3rd with nobody out. You probably know what’s coming – three strikeouts later the inning was over and Thommen still standing at 3rd. In the following innings, the SG was able to keep the bleeding in check, whilst Romang got his first 3 strikeouts as a pitcher and the defense making some nice plays behind him (shout-out to Andi Rüdisühli’s catch by falling backwards). The only highlight on the offensive side was a 2-run triple in the 3rd inning by Michel Romang. Otherwise, Eighters’ pitcher Ed Sutton held the SG’s offense in check. When you score 3 runs but give up 24, you cannot win the game… Only scoring 7 runs in 2 games combined with 3 pitchers getting their feet wet in 1st league, isn’t the combination for winning – we definitely learned that the hard way.

Sunday: New day, new field, old opponents, new chances. With more bench depth, pitching ace Philipp Matter available and the coaching experience of Enrico and Werner Zingg on hand, the SG Truck Star/Challengers had high hopes to get the first win against the Eighters. The game started promising: 4 runs in the top 1st inning – and finally some timely hitting. The Eighters fought back and put up a 3-spot in their half of the inning, but the SG was still leading! After a scoreless 2nd inning on both sides, the score was still 4-3. Could this be the day?.... NO! Another strong inning by Eighters’ pitcher Alain Bienz in which he didn’t allow any runs was followed by an offensive eruption by his teammates. Seven runs crossed the plate in the bottom 3rd – most of them coming with 2 outs. In the fourth inning the SG could only get one run back while the Eighters scored 3 more to get a 13-5 lead. Knowing it’s their last chance and motivated by Werner (who hit a RBI pinch-hit single) and Enrico the SG Truck Star/Challengers scored 5 runs to make things interesting. But that was it unfortunately. But the 10-13 loss showed the team that when everybody is available and mistakes are held in check, the team might run away with a W at some point.

The afternoon affair against the Lions was then the time to let the youngsters get some playing time. Jeffrey Pomuceno took that chance by going 2-for-2. All together the team only managed 6 hits and 1 walk and scored 3 runs. On the mound, starting pitcher Ryan Koley held the Lions to 14 runs thru the first 3 innings, but he ran out of gas in the 4th and had to be relieved by Philipp Matter. The Lions scored 11 runs that inning to put the game away with a final score of 25-3.

It was a very intense weekend for the whole team, but the players showed great efforts from start till the end even when being down 20 or so runs. Key take-aways from the weekend are that we need more pitching (beginning with more experience) and for once hitting (especially with RISP) was bad in 3 of the 4 games. Maybe the team can turn things around next Saturday when they play the Thun Hunters in Yverdon Golgoths in Thun.
Saturday July 20, 2013 - 10am & 12.30pm
The 1st League-Team will travel to Thun on Saturday, July 20, where the SG TruckStar/Challengers will take on the Thun Hunters and the Yverdon Golgoths. The SG TruckStar/Challengers will try to win for the first time this year. The games start at 10am and 12.30pm at Thun Allmend.

Das 1.Liga-Team reist am Samstag, 20. Juli ins Berner Oberland, wo die SG TruckStar/Challengers auf die Thun Hunters und die Yverdon Golgoths treffen wird. Die SG TruckStar/Challengers wird am Samstag versuchen, den ersten Saisonsieg einzufahren. Die Spiele beginnen um 10.00 und 12.30 Uhr auf der Thuner Allmend.

July 17, 2013 - by Serge Kuenzler
Am Montag, 22. Juli werden die Baseball Europameisterschaften im Baseballstadion Heerenschürli in Zürich eröffnet. Nach langer Vorbereitungszeit sowohl der Schweizer Nationalmannschaft als auch der Organisatoren laufen derzeit die letzten Vorbereitungen.

Die Schweiz trifft an ihrer ersten Heim-EM überhaupt auf Bulgarien, Grossbritannien, Polen, Slowenien und die Ukraine. Das Schweizer Team vom ehemaligen Challengers Meistertrainer Andy Fleischacker bestreitet alle seine Vorrundenspiele von Montag bis Freitag jeweils um 18.30 Uhr. Das Finale findet am Samstag, 27. Juli um 13.00 Uhr statt.

Tagestickets oder das Wochenticket sind unter den folgenden Links erhältlich:

Unter den 24 Spielern, die an der EM für die Schweiz auflaufen, figurieren mit Harry Bregy, Francisco Colindres, Andrea Girasole, Tobias Siegrist und Säntis Zeller auch fünf Challengers. Zudem gehören James Sanders und Robert Sedin dem Trainerstab der Schweiz an.

Weitere Informationen gibt es unter
July 17, 2013 - by Serge KuenzlerPhoto Album
Photo by Swiss Softball National Team
The Softball European Championship Women took place from July 7 till 13 in Prague. Europe’s top 20 teams played in four groups with five teams each trying to reach the final round. The Challengers‘ players Simona Cellar and Leandra Simitovic made the Swiss National Team’s 14-woman roster.

With a strong team effort the team of head coach Jerome Müller finished the tournament in 14th place, reaching its goal of a top 15 ranking. Switzerland faced higher rated teams in the preliminary round only, as they took on the Czech Republic (4th ranked in Europe), Austria (8th), Belgium (10th) and Hungary (14th) and finished the Group A with a 1-3 record after beating Hungary 23-5. And the Swiss added another win against the Ukraine in Round 2, before beeing edged in their final game by Denmark.

The Netherlands defended their title with a 3-0 win in the final against Italy, while the Czech Republic won the bronze medal.

Die Softball Europameisterschaft der Frauen fand dieses Jahr vom 7.-13. Juli in Prag statt. Die besten 20 Teams in Europa spielten in vier 5-er Gruppen um den Einzug in die Finalrunde. Die Challengers Spielerinnen Simona Cellar und Leandra Simitovic wurden von Nationaltrainer Jerome Müller ins 14-köpfige EM-Kader berufen.
Mit einer starken Teamleistung erreichten die Schweizerinnen ihr Ziel, das Turnier in den Top 15 zu beenden. Dank zwei Siegen in acht Spielen klassierte sich das Team von Cheftrainer Jerome Müller im 14. Schlussrang. Die Schweizerinnen standen in der Gruppenphase durchwegs höher eingestuften Nationen gegenüber: Tschechien (Rang 4 in Europa), Österreich (8), Belgien (10) und Ungarn (14). Die Eidgenossinnen beendeten die Vorrunde in der Gruppe A auf Rang 4 mit einem 23-5 Sieg gegen Ungarn. In der Zwischenrunde liessen die Schweizerinnen noch einen Sieg gegen die Ukraine folgen, bevor es im letzten Spiel eine knappe Niederlage gegen Dänemark gab.

Europameister wurden die Niederländerinnen, die mit einem 3-0 Finalsieg gegen Italien ihren Titel erfolgreich verteidigen konnten. Der Gastgeber Tschechische Republik holte sich sich die Bronzemedaille.

Results / Resultate:
Sunday, July 7: Czech Republic vs. Switzerland 12-0
Monday, July 8: Hungary vs. Switzerland 5-23 (W: Simitovic)
Monday, July 8: Switzerland vs. Austria 3-16
Tuesday, July 9: Switzerland vs. Belgium 2-11
Wednesday, July 10: Germany vs. Switzerland 7-0
Thursday, July 11: Croatia vs. Switzerland 9-5
Thursday, July 11: Switzerland vs. Ukraine 7-6 (W: Bühler)
Friday, July 12: Denmark vs. Switzerland 8-7
For further informations visit the ESF website and the tournament website.
Weitere Informationen gibt es auf der ESF Homepage und auf der Turnier Homepage.
July 11 vs Lions
WON 17-1

July 13 vs Cardinals
LOST 4-8 and 0-4

July 14 at Bandits
LOST 7-12 and 1-12

July 13 at Lions vs Eighters
LOST 4-22 and 3-23

July 14 at Eighters vs Lions
LOST 10-13 and 3-25

No games played

No games played

No games played
August 4 at Cardinals

July 30 at Barracudas
August 6 at Barracudas

July 20 vs Hunters
at Golgoths

August 11 vs Eagles

No games scheduled


No games scheduled
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