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Media types bring it on home

Breast cancer survivor Debbie Wasserman Shultz, with daughter Rebecca, hugs teammate Grace Napolitano. Wasserman Schultz hit a stand-up double in the bottom of the first in the charity event against media types. washingtonpost.com/photo.
Breast cancer survivor Debbie Wasserman Shultz, with daughter Rebecca, hugs teammate Grace Napolitano. Wasserman Schultz hit a stand-up double in the bottom of the first in the charity event against media types. washingtonpost.com/photo. (Linda Davidson/the Washington Post)
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By Al Kamen
Friday, June 18, 2010

The congressional women's softball team led in the early innings at Guy Mason Park on Wednesday night until the media team rallied for a 13-7 win before a raucous crowd that included Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House GOP leader John Boehner and much of the House leadership on both sides.

The lawmakers relied on stellar pitching from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) to build their lead. The media players were held scoreless through three innings by Gillibrand's baffling sinker. She brushed off the opposition's 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 from 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 media 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 center field -- and then added five more runs in the seventh.

The reporters fumed as some controversial base-running 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 Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), the catcher, 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.

The charity game in Glover Park raised $5,000 from an estimated 500 fans for the Young Survival Coalition for women younger than 40 who have breast cancer.

We hear that the extensive pregame 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 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.


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