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CHALLENGERS NEWSLETTER 6/2013
NIGHTGAME WEEK
Gleich zwei Mal stehen sich die Barracudas und die Challengers diese Woche gegenüber. Gestern Abend fand die erste Begegnung bei perfektem Wetter und vor gefüllten Zuschauerrängen statt, welche mit 10-3 zugunsten der Challengers endete. Heute Abend geht es hoffentlich im gleichen Stil weiter, wenn das zweite Nightgame um 19:00 Uhr auf dem Heerenschürli startet.
RECAP
SIEGRIST THROWS 3-HIT COMPLETE GAME IN 10-3 WIN OVER BARRACUDAS
Tuesday May 14, 2013 - by Chris PalatinusPhoto Album
The Challengers won the opener of the two-game series with their cross-town rivals Zurich Barracudas, as the C's posted a 10-3 victory on Tuesday night. The C's improved their record to 4-2, while the Barracudas suffered their first loss of the 2013 season. Game 2 of the series will take place on Wednesday, May 15 at 7 pm at the Heerenschürli ballpark. Game Recap
MUSTANGS RALLY FOR 6-4 WIN
Saturday May 11, 2013 - by Chris PalatinusPhoto Album
The Challengers didn't find the recipe for success against the Embrach Mustangs once more. The Mustangs rallied for four runs between the sixth and the eight innings to overtake the Challengers on the way to a 6-4 victory on Saturday, May 11 at the Heerenschürli ballpark. Starter Andrea Girasole allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits with two walks and one strikeout, but ended up with a no-decision, as the bullpen gave the lead away. Eidrys Reyes led the offense going 4-for-5 and scored a run. The second game of the day has been called in the second inning due to rain. Game Recap
PITCHING, HITTING COME TOGETHER AS CHALLENGERS SWEEP FROGS
Sunday May 12, 2013 - by Alex Gordon
As the NLB Challengers prepared to take the field on Sunday, coach Rob Sedin gathered his team together for a quick word: “We’re playing ok, but we’re still not getting it done” he said. “I think what’s missing is energy. We gotta have that energy every at bat the whole game. So we can either go out there with energy or we can lose another two games.” Taking Sedin’s words to heart, the Challengers opted to “go out there with energy” and snapped a 4-game losing streak with two convincing victories over the Sissach Frogs.
 
In the first game, the Challengers jumped out to an early lead as the top of the order got things moving in the top of the third. Lead-off man Thomas Burger was hit by a pitch, stole second, and then scored on a single by Adderly Sarmiento. Eidrys Reyes scored Sarmiento with a ground-rule double to right, and then later scored himself on a wild pitch and an error.
 
Challengers' starter Dean Scherbaum went 6 strong innings, allowing just 1 earned run and stranding a total of 12 Sissach baserunners. Scherbaum bailed out his defense in the second - when Rightfielder Gordon, still clearly suffering the effects of taking a ball to the face the previous Friday, inexplicably blurted out "I got it!" despite being nowhere near the ball, earning himself a "death stare" from Sarmiento who otherwise would have caught the ball - and the sixth, when the normally smooth-fielding Reyes committed back-to-back errors. The Frogs' only legitimate run against Scherbaum came on a solo homer to left in the 5th inning, which came immediately following Scherbaum picking a runner off first.
 
NLB added a run in the 4th - as Gordon reached on an error, stole second, and eventually scored on a wild pitch - and then two more in the top of the 7th, on a Sac Fly by Oliver Bernet and an RBI groundout by Carols Nepomuceno. Oli Christen, still either channeling 2004 era Roy Halladay or abusing performance enhancing drugs (it's still not clear which) set the side down in order in the bottom of the 7th, as the Challengers won 6-3.
 
After enjoying some delicious hamburgers, the Challengers got off to a quick start in the second game. In the first inning, Sarmiento singled, stole second, and scored on a titanic double by Reyes. In the second, Bernet led off with a single and moved to second when Gordon followed with a single of his own. A walk to Daiki Sato loaded the bases for Renzo Falcone, who managed to push a slow roller far enough down the first base line to allow Bernet to score and the other runners to advance to second and third. Burger followed with an RBI ground-out to score Gordon, making it 3-0. In the meantime, Christen, starting the second game, cruised through the first 3 innings without allowing a run.
 
In the top of the third, the Challengers loaded the bases with no outs, but Bernet hit a comebacker to the pitcher that resulted in a double play, with Reyes being forced out at home. That brought Gordon to the plate with two outs, and runners on second and third. After his last at bat in the first game, in which he'd popped weakly to second, Sedin and Reyes both told Gordon to relax more at the plate and just focus on getting prepared to hit. The advice clearly worked as "A-God" drilled a two-RBI single to center, scoring Kurt Kovac and Nepomuceno. After stealing second, Gordon came around to score on an RBI single by Sato to make it 6-0 Challengers. 
 
The Challengers ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the 4th, as pitcher Wascar de Leon Garcia was once again wild in relief. After two walks and a hit-batsman, Garcia was pulled for Kovac, who came into a bases-loaded, no outs jam. Two batters later, the inning was over: Kovac induced a double play ball from the first batter he faced (the Challengers happily traded one run for two outs), and then retired the next batter on a weak grounder to second. 
 
From that point on, it was all Challengers. NLB scored one in the fourth, as Bernet was plunked in the earflap with the bases loaded, scoring Sarmiento (Bernet appeared to be ok), and a total of 10 in the fifth, sixth and seventh, as the Frogs opted to give one of their younger pitchers a chance for some game experience. Just about every batter in the Challengers' lineup had either an RBI or a run, as NLB turned in its most dominating performance of the young season.
 
The games against Sissach were also notable for the following three reasons: 1) They marked the end of NLB eligibility for Reyes, whose fielding, hitting, and pitching were a tremendous benefit to the team. Despite my best efforts to turn NLA coach Chris Palatinus against him, it appears that Reyes will be playing out the rest of the season with NLA - where he admittedly belongs; 2) They represented the second straight solid pitching performance from Scherbaum and Christen. The emergence of Christen as a reliable arm will be key for the Challengers as the season moves along, particularly with Scherbaum likely to be leaving Switzerland in August; 3) Finally, the games solidified Yasuke Azuma's (not sure about the spelling, I apologize!) status as the team's top catcher, filling what had been an enormous void in the Challengers' defense (despite heroic efforts by Sato, Sarmiento, and Hendrix, who were each playing out of position).
 
NLB will have the next two weekends off before facing the Unicorns on 1 June. 
LADIES ARRIVE IN WIN COLUMN
Saturday May 11, 2013 - by Jen MontaguePhoto Album
The Softball-Team recorded its first win of the season on Saturday, May 11, as the Challengers held on for an 8-7 victory against the Bern Cardinals. The C's almost blew a six-run lead, but Leandra Simitovic worked out of the jam, striking out Pamela Kellenberger to end the game with the tying run on third base. Simitovic and Simona Cellar delivered two hits and scored two runs each, while Jennifer Montague drove in two runs. 
Game 1 Recap - Game 2 Recap
1st LEAGUE HOMEOPENER RAINED OUT
Sunday May 12, 2013 - by Michel Romang
Once again the weather gods were no baseball fans. The two games at Heerenschürli vs Lions and Eighters had to be postponed because of the rain. After their season opener a week ago, the team was eager to show its strengths in Zurich, but they have to wait another 3 weeks till the SG hits the field in Dulliken vs. Yverdon Golgoths and Thun Hunters on Sunday, June 2.
 
Leider war Petrus auch dieses Wochenende kein Baseball-Fan und die Spiele der SG Truck Star/Challengers im Heerenschürli gegen die Lions und Eighters fielen dem Regen zum Opfer. Nach dem Saisonstart vor einer Woche war das Team gewillt im Nationalstadion seine Fortschritte zu zeigen. Doch leider kam es nicht dazu. Die nächsten Spiele stehen nun am Sonntag 2. Juni in Dulliken gegen die Yverdon Golgoths und Thun Hunters auf dem Programm.
GAME PREVIEWS
NLA NIGHTGAME at BARRACUDAS
Wednesday May 15, 2013 - 7pm Facebook Event
The Zurich Barracudas and the Challengers will play the second game of a two-game series tonight at 7 pm at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The C’s took the opener, as they posted a 10-3 victory over the Barracudas to improve to a 4-2 record, while the Barracudas lost for the first time in 2013 to end their eight-game winning streak.
 
Die Zürich Barracudas und die Challengers bestreiten heute Mittwoch Abend das zweite aufeinanderfolgende Nightgame. Spielbeginn ist um 19.00 Uhr im Baseballstadion Heerenschürli. Die Challengers holten sich das erste Derby gestern Abend mit einem 10-3 Erfolg und fügten dem Stadtrivalen die erste Saisonniederlage zu, nachdem die Barracudas die ersten acht Partien allesamt gewonnen hatten.
NO GAMES NEXT WEEKEND
There will be no games played in Switzerland the next weekend due to Whitsunday.
NEWS
WELCOME MACY MORGAN
Wednesday May 15, 2013 - by Jen Montague
There’s been a lot of buzz in the softball camp about our newest American acquisition. On Saturday the 11th of May, Macy Morgan arrived, so let’s get to know our newest Challenger a bit better.
 
Growing up in Destin, Florida, Macy began playing softball at the age of 9. She went on to become the starting pitcher for her high school team and eventually scored a full scholarship to private business school Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Florida for both academics and softball. In her first year of university, Macy was named Pitcher of the Year. GOOOOOOO SEAHAWKS!
 
Macy came to the Challengers through our “frenemies” (friends + enemies), the Luzern Eagles.  Eagle Jennifer Roesler was Macy’s teammate in college back in Florida, and, having witnessed firsthand the softball cyclone force that is the Challengers, suggested that we would be a great team through which Macy can hone her craft. Also, we’re awesome.
 
When she’s not playing softball, Macy is a self-confessed nerd who enjoys learning new things, watching documentaries and reading. She also enjoys going to the beach with friends and outdoor activities such as running, hiking, biking, etc. and can’t wait to get involved in all that Switzerland has to offer.
 
Macy is excited to be playing here in Zurich with such an international team with various experiences. She looks forward to sharing her softball knowledge and contributing to our victories in exchange for learning from the diverse background of her new teammates and receiving guidance on how to dress “more European”.
 
And to answer the burning question on everyone’s mind: if Macy could have any superpower, it would be the ability to fly, obviously.
 
Macy says, “I am just so happy you all have welcomed me with open arms and how amazing you all are in helping my transition to moving across the world from home but making me feel as if my team is a home away from home!”.
 
Awwwwww!
SOFTBALL NATIONALMANNSCHAFT TESTET FÃœR DIE EM
Tuesday May 14, 2013 - by Serge KuenzlerPhoto Album
Im Hinblick auf die vom 7. bis 13. Juli in Prag stattfindende Softball Europameisterschaft testet die Schweizer Nationalmannschaft an drei Spieltagen gegen Teams aus der heimischen Liga. Der Coaching Staff um Headcoach Jerome Müller kann bei diesen Testspielen wichtige Erkenntnisse über den Leistungsstand des Kaders gewinnen und die Automatismen und taktischen Varianten festigen. Die EM-Gruppengegner der Schweizerinnen, bei denen mit Simona Cellar und Leandra Simitovic auch zwei Challengers Spielerinnen im Kader figurieren, heissen Österreich, Belgien, Ungarn sowie der Gastgeber Tschechische Republik.
 
Der erste Testspieltag fand am Muttertag in Hünenberg statt, wo die Nationalmannschaft auf die gemischte Equipe der Wil Devils und der Zürich Barracudas traf. Im ersten Spiel stand das Nationalteam der amerikanischen Pitcherin der Barracudas, Misty Flesher, gegenüber, während Irene Ulrich von den Eagles für die Schweizerinnen startete. Flesher hielt dabei die Schweizer Batter weitgehend unter Kontrolle, erst gegen Ende der Partie vermochten die Schweizerinnen zu scoren. Zu mehr als dem 3-4 reichte es jedoch nicht mehr. Getrübt wurde die Partie vom Ausfall von Corina Casparis, die sich bei nasskalten Bedingungen bei einem Slide am Fuss verletzte.
 
Im zweiten Spiel standen sich mit Jrene Bühler und Leandra Simitovic gleich zwei Pitcherinnen des Nationalkaders gegenüber, wobei Bühler für ihren Stammclub Wil Devils auflief. Die Bats der Eidgenossinnen kamen weiterhin nicht auf Betriebstemperatur, sodass trotz einer soliden Defensivleistung letztlich eine 4-8 Niederlage resultierte.
 
Headcoach Jerome Müller zeigte sich mit dem Test zufrieden: „In der Defensive haben wir besser gespielt als in den ersten Partien an der letzten EM. Das ist eine gute Basis, auf der sich aufbauen lässt.“ Auch in der Offense ortete er gute Ansätze: „Offensiv lief es teilweise etwas unglücklich, wir waren etwas zu verkrampft. Ganz gut haben die Zeichen in der Offense funktioniert, da hatte ich mehr Probleme erwartet.“
 
Die weiteren Testspieltage finden am 8. Juni gegen die Luzern Eagles und Zürich Challengers sowie am 30. Juni gegen die Bern Cardinals und Therwil Flyers statt.
 
Roster Softball Nationalmannschaft
 
p – Jrene Bühler (Devils)
p – Leandra Simitovic (Challengers)
p – Irene Ulrich (Eagles)
c – Nina Wolfensberger (Flyers)
c – Jessica Rölli (Barracudas)
1b – Simona Cellar (Challengers)
2b – Aline Baum (Cardinals)
2b – Fabienne Baumgartner (Eagles)
3b – Chantal Breitenmoser (Devils)
3b – Flavia Crameri (Eagles)
ss – Corina Casparis (Eagles)
ss – Corina Grass (Barracudas)
of – Nadja Lehmann (Devils)
of – Flavia von Meiss (Cardinals)
of – Jessica Spring (Eagles)
 
Headcoach – Jerome Müller
RESULTS
NLA NIGHTGAME
May 14 at Barracudas
WON 10-3

BASEBALL NLA
May 11 vs Mustangs
LOST 4-6 and rained out

BASEBALL NLB
May 12 at Frogs
WON 6-3 and 17-1

BASEBALL 1. LIGA
May 12 in Zurich
Both games rained out

SOFTBALL NLA
May 11 vs Cardinals
WON 8-7 and LOST 1-5

CADETS
No games played

JUVENILES
No games played
NEXT GAMES
BASEBALL NLA
May 25 vs Devils

NLA NIGHTGAMES
May 15 at Barracudas (7pm)

BASEBALL NLB
June 1 at Unicorns

BASEBALL 1. LIGA
June 2 at Hunters
vs Golgoths


SOFTBALL NLA
May 25 at Devils

CADETS
May 25 vs Flyers
at Cardinals/Frogs

JUVENILES

May 26 vs Bern
at Flyers
SPONSORS
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