Press Defeats Women of Congress at Charity Softball

June 20, 2019 by Elin Johnson
Teams come together. From Facebook page of the game.

WASHINGTON – Now this isn’t fake news. The Bad News Babes of the DC press corps defeated the ladies of Congress 10-3 Wednesday night at the eleventh annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

The Babes, captained by Mikayla Bouchard of The New York Times and Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News, managed to outrun the congressional team in all likelihood prepared for the challenge by the wind sprints they routinely do down the halls of the Rayburn Office Building after members of Congress.

The packed stands and blaring music gave the game a neighborhood feel, which was only added to by the small children running around in mock jerseys and a dog that cavorted around the diamond at the mid point of the game. Hillterns cheered for their congresswoman in a desperate attempt for a coveted promotion to staffer. All this managed to distract fans from the ever present security forces and armored cars just on the other side of the fence.

The game was not without controversy. Announcers Gloria Borger, of CNN, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Andrea Mitchell, of NBC News & MSNBC, seemed to have some issue over the scorekeepers counting of the number of innings. Members of the press team were seen questioning the announcers on which inning it was, no doubt double checking their sources.

Further conspiracy arose when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appeared to suggest the press corps had stacked their team with players under the age of 25.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had a phenomenal game with some solid hits. However, her walkout song, Lizzo’s “Good as Hell,” seemed to pander to the millennial vote. Her pre-hit dance moves may be what get her to stand out from the 23 other Democratic candidates running for president. This was the first game a presidential candidate has played in.

Breakout artist and flautist Lizzo was also featured in the walk out music of Representative Kathy Castor, D-Fla., and Shawna Thomas of VICE News.

Other songs included works from Tupac, Prince, Carrie Underwood, Flo Rida, Fleetwood Mac, and the Spice Girls. Leigh Munsil of CNN decided to be on the nose with the main title theme from popular fantasy show “Game of Thrones” (which, for the record, is so last month).

Of the 16-member Congressional team only three were Republicans: Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and team captains Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., and Representative Martha Roby, R-Ala.

Senator Moore Capito and Gretchen Frazee, of PBS NewsHour, were selected as MVPs of the game, while the award for most spirited went to Representative Donna Shalala, D-Fla.

The crowded field had a few stars not in uniform as well. Megan Cavanagh from “A League of Their Own” sang the national anthem. Survivors of breast cancer were also in attendance and each player played for a survivor or fighter.

The game started in 2009 after Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., announced her breast cancer battle.

Wasserman Schultz, Representatives Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Gillibrand came together with a team of Members of Congress. The first game was played against both parties’ female campaign staff.

Then in 2010 a rivalry was born when members of the press were invited to compose the opposing team.

Wednesday’s game also raised $365,000 for breast cancer charity and education. Since 2009 the game has raised $1.3 million for the Young Survival Coalition, a global organization helping young women diagnosed with breast cancer by providing them with resources and support.

Next week the fun continues, with the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.

“Beloved by all and enjoyed by thousands,” as the description says on the game’s website, this year’s edition will be played on Wednesday, June 26, with the first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

General admission tickets are $10, while reserved seating tickets are $15. Parking is $22.

Over the last century, the Congressional Baseball Game’s popularity has contributed to its evolution into a foundation called Congressional Sports for Charity that supports worthy and effective Washington, DC area charities. These charities include the Washington Literacy Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, along with the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund in gratitude to the brave officers at the Republican practice shooting on June 14, 2017.

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