A capacity crowd gathered last night at Watkins Recreation Center Park for what proved to be an historic night of semi-competitive women's charity softball.
Select female members of Congress faced off against the Washington press corps -- for charity. All proceeds of the event went to the Young Survival Coalition, an organization which works on behalf of young women with breast cancer.
Under the setting sun, the captain for the congressional team -- Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) -- took to the mound with a laser focus, vanquishing press corps batters with no mercy and helping the members out to an early lead.
While this reporter was told the match between the two sides is often a quiet affair, a palpable tension hung heavy in the air as the innings wore on. Press coach Dave Espo (Associated Press) exchanged words with the umpires on numerous close calls drawing jeers from the members bench.
Deadlocked at 4-4 going into the final inning, a hush fell over the nearly 800 fans in attendance. Gillibrand stoically approached the mound and worked through the press side without incident.
As the members took their final turn at bat, even VIP members Nancy Pelosi (donning a celebratory cheerleader's pom-pom) and Steny Hoyer clamored for a view of the deciding at-bats.
Gillibrand was robbed of a single with an unforgettable grab in the outfield by a spry press member, and the congressional team was down to its last two outs.
In a questionable move by press coaches Espo and Carl Hulse (New York Times), the press corps intentionally walked two members -- hoping to take the bats out of the members' hands. With two runners on, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) strode to the plate with the unmistakable look of determination in her eyes. Capitalizing on a pitch straight down the middle, Wasserman Schultz ripped a blazing liner between the second baseman and shortstop to drive home the winning run. Met by Sen. Gillibrand and the entire members team, Wasserman Schultz was mobbed at home plate by the female members of Congress, where they were presented with a pink and gold trophy to commemorate the victory.
With the sun finally vanished from the June sky, both teams shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. And as NBC's Andrea Mitchell -- who did the play-by-play for the event -- reminded everyone, the real winner was the Young Survival Coalition and the brave women every day fighting breast cancer.
Pelosi closed the evening, thanking all the participants and fans and praised her fellow members for a rousing performance, asserting, "When Democrats and Republicans work together, they can do great things."