Congressional women can't stop the press in charity softball game
By Al Kamen
The congressional women's softball team was holding back the press in the early innings at Guy Mason Field on Wednesday night until the reporters rallied for a 13-7 win. The raucus crowd in the bleachers included Justice Sonia Sotomayor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, GOP leader Rep. John Boehner much of the House leadership on both sides. (See highlights here.)
The charity game in Glover Park raised $5,000 last night from an estimated 500 fans for the Young Survival Coalition for women under 40 diagnosed with breast cancer.
The lawmakers relied on stellar pitching from Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), to build their lead. The press was held scoreless through three by Gillebrand's baffling sinker. She brushed off opposing team efforts to rattle her with chants of "David Paterson," the tarnished New York governor who appointed her.
It didn't hurt that the hurlers were backed by superb fielding by shortstop Reps. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Shelley Moore "Rocket Arm" Capito (R-W.Va.) at third and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) at second. Power hitting, sparked by a lead-off, stand-up double by Wasserman Schultz in the bottom of the first, staked the members to a 5-2 lead through four.
The lawmakers were up 7-4 until the top of the sixth when the press bats, aided by some walks and errors, came alive. They exploded for four runs in the sixth -- after Kasie Hunt of Politico and Emily Ortman of Roll Call smoked back-to-back doubles to centerfield -- and then added five more runs in the seventh.
The reporters fumed as some controversial baserunning and other calls went for the house members -- but there were no bench-clearing brawls. (They write the rules, but we write the stories.)
Catcher Trish Turner, a Fox News producer who had never played competitive softball, was named the most valuable player for the winners for two great outs at the plate and then for mowing down catcher Rep. Betsey Markey (D-Colo.) in a dramatic play at home. Markey took an awesome hit from Turner in stride, but the ball popped out of her glove, allowing Turner to score.
The House members named themselves all most valuable players.
We hear that the extensive pre-game trash talk continued after the game as the politicians took to grousing and spinning that the only reason they lost was because the press played college kids as ringers.
The media types, citing the line-up cards, insist that's absolutely false. They countered that the home plate umpire, Frank Cushing, turned out to be a lobbyist and former staff director for the House appropriations committee.
A special prosecutor will be appointed as soon as the BP hearings are over.
June 17, 2010; 2:56 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , In the Loop
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