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Lawmakers break losing streak at Congressional Softball Game

It’s their first win against the press since 2015

It was a good night for the lawmakers’ team at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday. Above, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz watches as Rep. Lisa McClain catches a line drive.
It was a good night for the lawmakers’ team at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday. Above, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz watches as Rep. Lisa McClain catches a line drive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Before members of Congress head into the final innings of the midterm campaign season, they pulled off another kind of winning campaign Wednesday night.

For the first time since 2015, the lawmakers defeated the press team at the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game. With a final score of 6-5, it was a back-and-forth defensive battle that ended with a twist.

Rep. Kat Cammack brought it home at the last minute with a bases-loaded walk. The Florida Republican spent much of the night chirping at both officials and the press team, known as the Bad News Babes. But she also took a lap around the field to celebrate the purpose of the game — raising money to fight breast cancer.

Catcher Rep. Angie Craig and Bad News Babes baserunner Gretchen Frazee collide at the plate during Wednesday’s game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This year the game brought in a record amount, over $540,000, for the Young Survival Coalition, which supports patients under the age of 40. That announcement from the emcees prompted the largest applause of the night.

Several of the players who came up big for the lawmakers’ team are hoping for similar results in their tight races in the midterms. Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig made several good defensive plays to keep the score close through the game and formed a solid offense with Kansas Democrat Sharice Davids. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates both of their races as Toss-Ups.

For others, it was their last time on the field. Members coach Rep. Ed Perlmutter said there were two keys to the win: getting hits and minimizing mistakes.

“They’re about as loose as they’ve ever been for one of these,” the retiring Colorado Democrat said before the game, held at Watkins Recreation Center in Southeast Washington.

Perlmutter may be headed for the exits, but he has one final sports outing next week. He’s set to play in the Congressional Golf Challenge. And he’s hoping his potential Democratic replacement in Congress, Colorado state Sen. Brittany Pettersen, can make a mark in the softball game. “She can run and she’ll learn how to hit and catch. … She’s a good athlete, but she’s got to win first. That’s the focus.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise chats with Rep. Kat Cammack and Bad News Babes players Bridget Bowman and Frazee in the dugout Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Retiring Rep. Cheri Bustos also played in her last game and was elated as she celebrated the final score.

“It was such a team effort,” the Illinois Democrat said. “That’s the kind of game I love to play, when everybody contributes something.”

While her side defeated the press corps that covers Congress, she hopes to get a win on the press’ behalf in the last stages of this year. She’s worked on a resolution that would express “gratitude on behalf of the people of the United States to the journalists and news staff who risked threats of injury and death to chronicle the horrendous details of the insurrection on January 6, 2021,” some of whom she played against in the softball game.

She said the inaction on that measure is due to a lack of GOP co-sponsors. “I have a passion about that. It’d be nice to get that done. It’s only right to do it.”

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