Mindy Siemers new Challengers President

The 44th ordinary General Assembly of the Challengers Baseball & Softball Club Zurich took place on Sunday at Baseball in the City in Dübendorf. Mindy Siemers was elected as the new Challengers President to follow Serge Kuenzler, who resigned from his position after eight years at the club’s helm.
Serge Kuenzler was able to look back on a very successful season at his last GA. The NLA-Team won its tenth championship title in the club’s history, the U15 cadets also won the Swiss championship title, while the Softball-Team qualified for the final for the fourth time in a row and, like the baseball team, qualified for the European Cup again. Kuenzler was also pleased that the club is well positioned for the future with its successful junior department. The appointment of Farid Bekkali and Martin Strzodka as new coaches for the NLB-Team is particularly positive for the further development of the young talent. In addition to the sporting area, there was also positive news to report from the finance department. The annual accounts closed with a small profit.
The President of the Swiss Baseball & Softball Federation, Dagmar Voith, who came especially because of Serge Kuenzler’s resignation, addressed a few words of thanks to the resigning President. The board is undergoing some changes for the coming season. While Mindy Siemers, Carlos Nepomuceno, Taylor McCants and Nicola Ernst were confirmed as board members for another year, Un-Hie Gonzalez, Isabelle Tan and Stefan Benz were newly elected to the club’s management. Mindy Siemers was elected as the new president. She is the eighth president in the club’s history.
James Sanders (NLA), Taylor McCants (Softball), Joseph Stotz (NLB) and Jasper Freigang (1st League) were honored as MVP’s of their respective teams.

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Adrian Kämpfer named Headcoach of the Swiss U18 Nationalteam

The Swiss Baseball and Softball Federation named Adrian Kämpfer as the new head coach of the Swiss U18 national baseball team. He follows Roger Savoldelli.
Kämpfer was most recently an assistant coach in the U18 national team and previously worked very successfully as a coach and manager for the juniors in the Challengers organization for many years. The next big goal for the U18 national team will be the European Championship qualifier in 2025.

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Merry Christmas

A masterful year is behind us. We were rewarded for our efforts and in the end we were able to experience and enjoy the beautiful emotions that the sport offers. But we must not let up. There are major challenges ahead of us. Be it for the league, be it for volunteer-run clubs in general.
The Challengers Baseball and Softball Club Zurich would like to thank all of its members, fans, friends, sponsors, patrons and supporters for their support. Have a relaxing holiday, a happy new year and, above all, a healthy 2024!

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International Volunteer Day

Volunteers are the driving force behind Swiss sports – without them nothing works.
They work in the background, do a lot and do it all voluntarily: the volunteers who enliven, support and advance Swiss sport. Across Switzerland the volunteers occupy 96 percent of the approximately 350,000 positions that exist in Swiss sports organizations. If the hours worked had to be paid, costs of around CHF 2 billion would be incurred.
Today is the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development – as well as the Challengers’ 43rd birthday! It is the ideal opportunity to say thank you to all of our volunteers for your commitment and your passion for the Challengers and their juniors.

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Swiss Baseball & Softball Awards Night

The Swiss Baseball & Softball Awards Night took place on Saturday, November 25th at the Crowne Plaza in Zurich. The champion teams of the various leagues were honored. The Challengers received the awards as Swiss champions in the Baseball NLA and the U15 Cadets. The Wittenbach Panthers won in softball, the Zurich Barracudas in the NLB, Wittenbach-Romanshorn in the 1st league and the Geneva Dragons in the U12 Juveniles.
The individual awards were also presented. In the Baseball NLA, Taka Oshima of the Therwil Flyers was named MVP, while Challengers pitcher James Sanders was named Playoff MVP. The MVP award in softball went to Kim Zehnder from the Wittenbach Panthers, MVP in the NLB went to Devin Flühmann from the Therwil Flyers, the award in the first league went to Marvin Müller from the Hünenberg Unicorns.

Newly inducted into the Hall of Fame was Challengers legend Peter Rothenhäusler. He played a leading role in the implementation of scoring in the early 1980s, was involved in the first Swiss version of the regulations and was active as a coach for the juniors and in softball as well as on the Challengers club board.
The Swiss national baseball team was also honored, as they unexpectedly finished in 12th place in their first ever participation in the European Championship and thus qualified for the 2025 European Championship. National coach Chris Byrnes was named “Coach of the Year”, while social media specialist Marc Fussenegger was named “Official of the Year”. The proceeds from the Awards Night will benefit the Swiss national teams.

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Juniors indoor tournament on February 4th

The traditional Challengers juniors indoor tournament in the ETH Hönggerberg sports hall in Zurich will take place this winter on Sunday, February 4th.
Before that the U12 Juveniles and U15 Cadets of the Challengers will be in action at the indoor tournaments in Wil and Bern. The tournament in eastern Switzerland will take place on Saturday, December 9th, the one in the federal city on January 20th, 2024.

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Challengers finish Round Robin in 2nd place

In the last game of the preliminary round, the Challengers met the first-placed Therwil Flyers again. The Zurich team was able to keep up for four innings. Then the reigning champion made rushed away and finally won with 16-2.
For the first time this season, the Zurich team presented with Nick and Jack Siemers and Florin Kämpfer three juniors in their starting lineup. They did their job well. A ball put into play by Kämpfer caused an error in the Flyers defense and brought the 1-1 tie through Marco Limacher, who had put himself in scoring position with a lead-off triple. The Flyers followed up with a triple from Chris Horne in the third inning and then a solo home run from Taka Oshima to make it 3-1. In the fourth frame the Challengers reduced the lead to 2-3 and kept hoping for a positive result. Luis Mateo Jimenez brought home again Limacher with an RBI single. But then the Flyers stepped up a gear and showed why they have been the undefeated champions since 2019. With surgical precision their balls found the gaps in the Challengers defense, so the game ended after seven innings with mercy rule.
Luis Mateo Jimenez and Oliver Bernet Garcia led the Challengers offense with two hits each. In two weeks the C’s will meet city rivals Zurich Barracudas in the playoff semi-finals.

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Flyers walk away with win

In the duel between the first placed Flyers and the second placed Challengers, the reigning champion from Therwil quickly ensures clear conditions. The Challengers defend themselves as best they can and can claim some positive points for themselves.
The dfending champion from Therwil already made the decisive difference in innings three and four by submitting no fewer than nine runs. After all, the Challengers also came to a good inning. After Adam Greenberg scored the first run for Zurich on a wild pitch, Marco Limacher followed with an RBI double and Carlos Nepomuceno with another RBI to make it 3-9. In the next few innings Hayden Jung-Goldberg kept the Basel offensive in check, but the C’s couldn’t get more than their fourth run through a sac fly by Adam Greenberg. Ultimately, they left the field with a 4-11 loss.
Leonel Sosa Marte had four hits, while Nick Siemers contributed two hits. The Challengers will have the opportunity to take revenge tomorrow, Saturday. At the end of the preliminary round, they meet the Flyers again at 5.30 p.m. in the Heerenschürli ballpark.

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Win against cross-town rival

The Challengers defeated the Zurich Barracudas 11-9 in an exciting Zurich derby on Wednesday night and secured home advantage for the playoff semifinals. There the C’s will meet the Barracudas again.
However, the home team dressed in green got off to a better start. The Barracudas took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and held a 5-2 lead after four frames. But in the fifth inning the Challengers made a big turnaround. After a lead-off single by Leonel Sosa Marte, Carlos Nepomuceno made it 3-5 with what was already his third hit of the game. He set off a veritable avalanche. Patrick Maier brought his team up to 4-5 with an RBI single before Nick Siemers and Hayden Jung-Goldberg’s RBI’s turned the game around. But that wasn’t all. Regis Reinhard made it 7-5 with a double and Leonel Sosa Marte capped the inning with a 2-run double to make it 9-5.
But anyone who had thought that the game was over was way off the mark. Maybe one or the other thought so. But not Livio Bundi. The Barracudas DH brought new life into his squad with a two-run homer in the second half of the fifth frame, and he even repeated the feat in the seventh inning to restart the game again at 9-9.
But the last exclamation point was set by the guests. Marco Limacher started the ninth inning with a walk and scored the go-ahead run on an RBI triple from Nick Siemers. And Siemers scored an insurance run after an RBI single from Regis Reinhard to make it 11-9. However, Luis Mateo Jimenez did not need one at all. The pitcher ended the game with three quick outs.
With the win the Challengers now have ten wins and four losses and can no longer be pushed out of second place. On Friday and Saturday night, the Challengers will meet the undisputed leaders Therwil Flyers twice at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The outcome of these two games does not change the fact that the next Zurich derby with the Barracudas will take place in the semi-finals.

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