The Challenger’s Softball Team won its first ever Swiss Championship title by sweeping the defending champion Therwil Flyers in their best-of-three Series on October 8 at the Klopstockwiese. The C’s took the opener by winning 11-3 after scoring seven runs in the first inning. In Game 2 the blue and red built an early 9-0 lead and held on for a 11-3 victory again to seal the deal.
Wow – what an amazing day! On Sunday, 8th October, the Zürich Challengers Fast-Pitch Women’s Softball stamped themselves as clearly the best team in Switzerland with convincing back-to-back 11-3 wins against the Therwil Flyers, last years champions. It was a day full of outstanding hitting, fielding and supreme self-confidence as the C’s opened each game with a decisive first innings, leaving the Flyers no chance of ever threatening to take the lead.
As ‘away’ team, the C’s started off the innings with the first six batters all scoring. Thanks to four walks, three single base hits by Bobbie-Jean Taylor, Karen Heimgartner and Simone Zurschmitten and a beautiful 2-base line-drive from Corinne Wengi, the 7-0 score-line was a telling start. Hemigartner managed three strike-outs in the Flyers first inning, but not before they scored off a good bunt from Meli Wanner. The middle innings 2-5 were relatively uneventful with only Taylor, who stole both 2nd and 3rd bases, crossing in the 2nd for the C’s 8th run. She was also given two intentional BBs but this had little effect as the remainder of the team continued to bat strongly. Leandra Simitovic highlighted her strong appearance at the plate with two strike-outs in the 5th. Challengers continued their onslaught in the 6th by scoring 3 more runs with solid step-by-step team batting. Despite having 2 outs, the girls showed great strength and perseverence. Flyers also scored 2 in the 6th following a beautiful lead-off triple from Wanner, but they were never in the game. Remaining highlights of the game include excellent discipline in the box. Alexia Zingg was a great example of this with 4 BBs from 5 appearances. The C’s closed out the match neatly in the 7th and waited eagerly for the 2nd game.
Basic game stats:
Challengers: 11 Runs, 12 Hits, 11 BB’s, 5 Errors
Flyers: 3 Runs, 7 Hits, 3 BB’s, 5 Errors
Although the C’s have sometimes let themselves down with inconsistency, they started the 2nd game equally fired-up and excited after an almost perfect pre-game. And again, with 2 outs, they managed to put together 5 consecutive runs in the first innings, thanks to some great hitting and base-running on 2-run hits by Heimgartner and Sandrine Montandon and a RBI-single by Ziegylou Wehrli. In contrast, Flyers began their match with three straight outs, including 2 strike-outs from Heimgartner (a performance that she also repeated in the 2nd). The girls added 2 more runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings thanks to great discipline in the box (ie. 3 BB) and not-so-great pitching from the Flyers mound. Both teams traded a 2-run 4th innings highlighted by a timely double play from the C’s. Faced with none out and loaded bases, Simitovic, Taylor and Zingg combined to take runners at both home and one – a real confidence blow to the Flyers. The Flyers scored a face-saving 3rd run at the top of the 7th inning but it was all over without the C’s having to bat again. Game highlights included total dominance on the mound from both Heimgartner and Simitovic, great line drives from several C’s hitters including Simone Zurchschmitten and Sandrine Montandon, and two clever left-handed running-bunts from Flavia Von Meiss.
Basic game stats:
Challengers: 11 Runs, 11 Hits, 10 BB’s, 3 Errors
Flyers: 3 Runs, 6 Hits, 2 BB’s, 5 Errors