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Congressional Women's Softball Game held in DC with tight security

The Congressional Women's Softball Game was held in Washington with tight security, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (WJLA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The Congressional Women's Softball Game is an annual event that began in 2009, but this year had a different feel than any of the previous games.

The game took place one week to the day after a gunman shot five people at a Republican practice for the Congressional Baseball Game. Among those shot was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

Security at the softball game was very tight, with U.S. Capitol Police officers having a heavy presence, even positioning themselves on a rooftop to monitor the area.

The game took place Wednesday night at the Watkins Recreation Center softball field in Southeast Washington.

Before the game, one of the five people shot last week, Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, threw out the game's first pitch from a wheelchair.

"Here with us, a true American hero," the PA announcer said while introducing Griner, adding that she had just left the hospital.

During the game, members of Congress play members of the press to raise money for charity.

The congressional team is always bipartisan - something team members say was especially important this year.

"Steve Scalise is a good friend of all of ours," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who played third base. "I think we realize that there are bigger things at work in all of our lives than pieces of legislation and rhetoric."

The annual game was cofounded by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., eight years ago after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Wasserman Schultz says the game has been growing every year, and ticket sales were already strong before last week's shooting led to an increase in sales.

"It is our most successful year yet, we've raised the most funds of the nine years we've played the game," Wasserman Schultz told ABC7 News.

The game raises money for the Young Survival Coalition, which helps young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Well over 2,000 people came this year. An organizer says in recent years the game has averaged around 1,500.

At the end of the game, "The Bad News Babes" defeated the members of Congress 2-1.


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