Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game

Posted June 18, 2014 at 7:01am
Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game
2013 warmups with Donna Edwards, left, and Kirsten Gillibrand. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s that time of year again.

Trash talk is escalating, just as several dozen women are wrapping up early morning practices. Fangirls are making necessary arrangements.

It is all because the Congressional Women’s Softball Game is Wednesday night.

The annual event pits female members of Congress against the women of the Washington press corps, and it benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity that aids women under 40 who are fighting breast cancer.

We hear, courtesy of two different press spying accounts, that members are looking strong at the plate during practice.

“The members looked ready to go,” Bad News Babe/CNN political writer Leigh Ann Caldwell said of a recent reconnaissance mission of Team Congress’ practice. “Their batting was fierce, and their pitching was the strongest I’ve seen it.”

“It’s a good thing the press team has improved as well, or I would be scared,” Caldwell added. “We are going to have to play at our highest level this year to ensure we continue our winning streak.”

Get your tickets here. (And don’t forget to fill out your Fantasy Softball brackets!)

Looking ahead, this is an election year, which means the team is subject to churn before next June. Most of the current members are expected to return. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., has the toughest re-election of the bunch. Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., also are in competitive districts.

But candidates running for office could join the team as rookies. Those 2015 team prospects, holy mother of God. These are the possible recruits who someday might make it to The Show:

Democratic House Candidate Amanda Renteria

Race: Renteria is challenging Republican Rep. David Valadao for California’s 21st District.
Athletic Background: If elected, Renteria might be the most athletically accomplished woman to walk the halls of the Capitol. She was on Stanford University’s softball and basketball teams, and was captain of the softball team. Renteria is also in the Stanford record books for her triples, stolen bases and runs scored.
Likelihood of Coming to Congress: The race is rated Tilts Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game
Courtesy of the Natalie Tennant Senate Campaign

Democratic Senate Candidate Natalie Tennant

Race: Tennant, West Virginia’s Secretary of State, is running against Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in the open-seat race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Athletic Background: Tennant is pretty much a regular athletic nightmare, according to sources close to the Democrat. She lettered in both track and basketball in high school. She was the first woman to represent West Virginia University as its Mountaineer mascot. But if Tennant were to upset her Republican rival in the Senate race, Capito, she would also be taking out Team Congress’ third baseman and a captain.
Likelihood of Coming to Congress: The race is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game
Courtesy of the Martha McSally for Congress campaign

Republican House Candidate Martha McSally

Race: Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally is challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber for Arizona’s 2nd District.
Athletic Background: McSally is a runner, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and completed an Ironman in 1993. Oh, and she also is a retired fighter pilot who once sued Donald Rumsfeld and threatened to kick ex-Sen. Rick Santorum “in the jimmy” on national television.
Likelihood of Coming to Congress: The race is rated Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game
Courtesy of Alison for Kentucky

Democratic Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

Race: Grimes, Kentucky’s Secretary of State, is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the most intense races of the cycle.
Athletic Background: Campaign sources say Grimes runs daily and once taught kickboxing. Kickboxing!
Likelihood of Coming to Congress: The race is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Republican House Candidate Mia Love

Race: Love is the Republican nominee to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in Utah’s 4th District.
Athletic Background: Love is currently a runner and played some softball growing up. “I’m not great at softball, but it depends on what your idea is,” she said. “I take every opportunity I can to stay in shape and to have some fun.”
Likelihood of Coming to Congress: The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Love is the most likely person on this list to be elected to Congress.

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game
Courtesy Gwen Graham for Congress campaign

Democratic House Candidate Gwen Graham

Race: Graham, an attorney, is challenging Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II for Florida’s 2nd District.
Athletic Background: The repeated line about Graham is that she is “tall.” Her campaign team described her as “definitely very athletic and very competitive.”
Likelihood of Coming to Congress: The race is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.