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Members Rush to Recruit Freshmen to Softball Team

Love in her running gear in a campaign video.  (Courtesy YouTube)

Think it's too early for softball? Think again.  

Veteran members of the Congressional Women's Softball Team fanned out across Washington last week to recruit members-elect to their softball team. They square off each summer against the Bad News Babes, a team of reporters, in a fundraiser for the Young Survival Coalition breast cancer charity.  

"We are pumped to have one of the largest class of new recruits to the Congressional Women's team since we started the game," game founder/Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said in a statement.  

"These women are ready to bond, ready to play, ready to win and most of all, fired up to beat cancer and beat the press — again!" Wasserman Schultz said, alluding to her team's slight win over the Bad News Babes this summer. Co-captain and Sen.-elect Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., nodded to the fact that not one member from last season's roster ended up on Roll Call's Casualty List .

"I'm very optimistic about our team with so many returning players, and we'll be working to recruit some great talent from the incoming class of freshman members," Capito said in an email.

Most of the news trickled out over Twitter, usually accompanied with trolling toward their rivals. One esteemed member of the House even tweeted at a reporter, "#ComeAtMeBro. "  

The recruitment is at an accelerated pace compared to softball cycles past. Back in the last term, recruitment generally did not start until Swearing-In Day in 2013, and later .  

Many of these targets we saw coming a mile away, other recruits are a bit of a surprise.  

Confirmed:

Rice.

Rice (Courtesy Rice Campaign)

   

Rep.-elect Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y. New York Times Washington Bureau Chief Carolyn Ryan, formerly of the Empire State political scene, raised concerns early on about Rice's softball potential.  

Wasserman Schultz, also on her game, recruited Rice in the early summer.  

   

   

   

Stefanik and Gillibrand.

Stefanik and Gillibrand (Courtesy Twitter)

   

Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.  Maybe there is hope for bipartisanship on Capitol Hill?  

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told the Glen Falls Post-Star that Stefanik is a top recruit, and signaled the freshman as a possible addition to the pitching rotation.  

   

   

   

Love.

Love (Courtesy YouTube)

   

Rep.-elect Mia Love, R-Utah Love told CQ Roll Call earlier in the year that she was an active soccer player growing up, likes to stay in shape and played recreational softball in her formative years. Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was all over it, tweeting just a day after freshmen arrived to Washington for orientation.  

   

   

   

Graham.

Graham (Courtesy Graham Campaign)

   

Rep.-elect Gwen Graham, D-Fla.  Graham's been trash-talking about softball since her early days as a candidate, though her mother, former Florida first lady Adele Graham, described her as more of an animal lover than an athlete.  

But at 6 feet tall and ferociously competitive, Graham is one to watch.  

   

   

   

Reps.-elect Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Norma J. Torres, D-Calif., and Del.-elect Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I. These three escaped our radar, but Wasserman Schultz recruited them recently.

Maybes:
Courtesy of the Martha McSally for Congress campaign

Courtesy Martha McSally for Congress campaign

 
Retired Air Force Col. Martha E. McSally, R-Ariz.

McSally declared victory in her bid for Arizona's 2nd District, and attended orientation , but the race remains uncalled.  

McSally expressed interest in previous interviews with CQ Roll Call in playing ball.  

   

   

   

Walters.

Walters (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep.-elect Mimi Walters, R-Calif. Sources tell CQ Roll Call that Ros-Lehtinen approached Walters at the House GOP conference meeting Wednesday and told her, "You look like you can run the bases."  

“Yes, but I don’t know how fast I can do it,” Walters replied.  

   

   

   

   

             

Comstock.

Comstock (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

   

Rep.-elect Barbara Comstock, R-Va. Another Ros-Lehtinen recruit, Comstock told the Floridian that she is a skier and would like to play her daughter as a substitute.  

Um. No.  

   

   

   

Disclosure: The author of this post is a member of the Bad News Babes, the press team. Niels Lesniewski and Warren Rojas contributed to this report.  Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.