Presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand at the 11th-annual Congressional Women's Softball Game at Watkins Recreation Center on June 19. (Jeffrey Malet)

Nothing says “intern season” quite like the Congressional Women’s Softball Game. (Is agreeing to join your member of Congress’s hype squad a requirement for getting the job?)

The game’s unofficial cheerleaders — the 20something-year-old Hill staffers, and friends and family — have become an integral element of the annual charity event that pits members of Congress (the Members) against the press (the Bad News Babes). Attendees sported a sea of matching T-shirts — essentially a requirement — and toted clever signs (shout out to the Kris Jenner-themed one that read, “Sweetie you’re doing great”) at the 11th-annual event.

Unfortunately for the colleagues who came to show allegiance — which included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — the Members team ultimately fell 10-4 to the press team, despite valiant efforts from players such as 2020 presidential hopeful and team pitcher Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Veteran announcer Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who also took off time from the campaign trail to attend, blamed the team’s four-year losing streak to the Bad News Babes on age.

“You don’t even have to be 25,” she said jokingly of the press team’s eligibility, referring to the age restriction for running for political office. Donna Shalala, a 78-year-old Democratic representative from Florida, set the record this year as the oldest player to ever participate in the game.


The congressional and press teams at the softball game. (Jeffrey Malet)

Despite taking a beating, the members remained positive, and the spirit of bipartisanship was alive and well. Both teams exchanged coos of “love you” as they shook hands postgame.

“Sports and arts are what is going to unify our country,” Pelosi told the crowd at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill. The speaker also took the opportunity to tout the importance of health care while discussing the cause at hand, the Young Survival Coalition.

Since the showdown began in 2009, the event has raised more than $1.6 million for the breast cancer nonprofit. Last night’s matchup contributed at least $365,000 — a record.