The Softball-Team lost twice to the Bern Cardinals on Saturday, July 5 at the Klopstockwiese droping their record to 9-3 and losing first place to the Therwil Flyers and the Wil Devils.
In Game 1, the Challengers’ worst performance of the season, the defense committed eight errors that led to eight unearned runs, while Cardinals starter Pamela Kellenberger kept the offense quiet allowing only six hits and two walks, as the C’s lost 6-13.
Things started well for the C’s. After loading the bases in the first inning, Simona Cellar drove in Alexia Zingg, while Karin Mittelstädt and Karen Heimgartner scored on a passed ball and an error to make it 3-1. But from there it was all Cardinals. They scored five runs on four hits and two errors by the Challengers’ defense in the second and added three more runs in the third on two hits and four errors to make it 9-3.
Kellenberger retired nine of eleven batters she faced from the first to the fourth inning, before giving up a walk to Sandrine Montandon and a single to Flavia Von Meiss. The Challengers came back into the game, as Alexia Zingg delivered a two-run single and Leandra Simitovic added a RBI-double to cut the deficit to three runs.
But the Cards were on fire. After a lead-off double by Cornelia Noti and a triple by Fränzi Corradi, the Challengers committed another two costly errors, allowing the Cards to score another four runs to make it 13-6.
Leandra Simitovic (7-2) allowed thirteen runs – only five earned – and eleven hits with one walk and two strikeouts, while Karin Mittelstädt and Simitovic had two hits apiece for the Challengers.
Game 2 saw a pitcher’s duel between Nathalie Brown for the Cards and Karen Heimgartner for the Challengers with an unfortunate finish for the blue and red. The Challengers erased a two-run deficit in the fourth but missed to score the game-winning run in the fourth and seventh frame to eventually lose 3-7 after extra innings.
The Cards opened the score, as Ashley Cline scored twice in the first and third innings to make it 2-0. But the Challengers fought back. Simona Cellar delivered a RBI-double to cut the deficit to one run. And after Corinne Wengi drew a walk to load the bases, Ziegylou Wehrli tied the game with a RBI-single. But the Cards’ defense ended the threat, as they nailed Simone Zurschmitten between third and home, trying to score the leading run.
The Challengers again stranded runners on second and third in the sixth frame. And they had some bad luck as well in the seventh, as Alexia Zingg’s linedrive dropped an inch outside the right foulline in deep right field for what would have been a triple.
The two teams had to play a tie-breaking extra-inning and the Cards saved the best for last. They scored five runs in the eight on four hits to put things out of reach for the Challengers. Karin Mittelstädt added one more run for the C’s on a sac fly by Simitovic in the bottom half of the inning to make it 3-7 for the final score.
Nathalie Brown pitched eight strong innings for the Cards, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out sixteen, while Heimgartner ended up with the loss going the distance, giving up seven runs – three earned – on six hits while striking out fourteen. Heimgartner also led the offense with two hits and reaching base four times.
The C’s will face the Reussbühl Eagles on Saturday July, 12 at Reussbühl for their last games of the preeliminary round.