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Bad News Babes start another winning streak at Congressional Softball Game

Lawmakers come up short, but thunderstorms and protesters hold off

Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., right, congratulates Cassie Semyon of Spectrum News DC after the Congressional Women's Softball Game on Wednesday night.
Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., right, congratulates Cassie Semyon of Spectrum News DC after the Congressional Women's Softball Game on Wednesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The press team defeated members of Congress, 9-4, in a breezy contest for charity during the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game. But the rain held off until later in the evening, and unlike last year, no protesters occupied the outfield

It was the second win in a row for the press, who are trying to regain their momentum after lawmakers pulled off an upset in 2022. Despite a late-inning rally, Congress’ bats couldn’t answer good defense. 

The biggest highlight of the night came in the fifth inning: the announcement of money raised for the Young Survival Coalition, a nonprofit that supports women with breast cancer diagnoses before the age of 40. 

This year, organizers raised more than $670,000. Announcers Andrea Mitchell of NBC News and former Reps. Cheri Bustos and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said it was a record haul.

By the time the members got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning, the press team, known as the Bad News Babes, had already scored nine runs. But the lawmakers’ offense started clicking, and they managed to load the bases a number of times and score.

Oklahoma Republican Stephanie Bice, who had a sizable cheering section with the catchphrase “The Bice Is Right,” helped keep the runs up. Almost on cue, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., stepped up to the plate to her walk-up song, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” to extend the rally. But in the end, the press prevailed.

Things moved along more quickly than at the Congressional Baseball Game two weeks ago, which is played at Nationals Park. Unlike both that event and last year’s softball game, climate protesters stayed away. Large signs posted near the security checkpoint at Watkins Recreation Center warned that anyone entering the field during the game could be arrested.

Despite a weather system bearing down on the Washington area on Wednesday night, it stayed dry until the game was over.

Members of Congress do a cheer before the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers had hoped for revenge following their 2023 loss. “Our plan is to start a new streak,” said Florida Democrat and softball game founder Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

She added that her team was ready for a decisive tilt following three months of fielding, hitting and fly ball practices.

While players on both teams take winning seriously, Wasserman Schultz, who is a breast cancer survivor, said camaraderie is embedded in the heart of the game itself. 

“At the end of the day, both teams win because of the attention we’re able to put on raising awareness that young women should pay attention to their breast health, so that God forbid they end up with breast cancer, they can catch it early,” she said.