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Here's what the Congressional softball game shows us about women in Congress

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Here's what the Congressional softball game shows us about women in Congress

WATCH | Female lawmakers from both parties took to the dugout this week for the Congressional Women's Softball game, and lawmakers say the small size of the diverse team says a lot about female representation in Congress. 

Unlike the Congressional Baseball Game, which pits Republican lawmakers against Democrats, members of the congressional women's softball team take on the press. 

Lawmakers said that's not because they couldn't form two teams, but rather is a show of bipartisanship. 

"Women decided that as members it was important for us to play on the same team," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), one of the founders of the Congressional game. 

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Female members of Congress took on the Press in the Ninth annual Congressional women's softball game.

The softball game raises money for Young Survival Coalition, which helps education young women about breast cancer. This year, the game raised over $300,000 for the charity. 

The baseball game, which is also a charity event, has been around since 1909, but the softball game is just nine years old since it wasn't until the 1990s that women even made up 10 percent of Congress. 

"I don't think we have enough women [in Congress], but we have enough to field a team," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, winds up for a pitch from the outfield during the Congressional Women's Softball Game (Photo: Circa, 6/21/17)

Women in Congress

Women make up more than half the U.S. population, but out of 535 members of Congress, only 104 are women. That's less than 20 percent. 

There are currently 21 female senators and 83 female representatives serving in the 115th Congress. 

Most female members of Congress are Democrats, with 15 in the Senate and 62 in the House. 

The softball team is the same. Nine out of the 14 players are Democrats. 

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The lawmakers line up for the ceremonial first pitch at the Congressional women's softball game. (Photo: Circa, 6/21/17)

Diversity in Congress

The softball team may be small, but members say it does demonstrate one important growing trend in representation. 

"We're a very diverse group," said Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA).

This Congress is the most racially diverse in history, with record breaking numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans.

Half of the players on the softball team are Latina and women of color. 


At the end of the game, the press team beat the congressional team, but the members say it's all about working together for a good cause. 

"Women are consensus builders. We really believe in coming together and working together and we thought it would be better to play on the same team," Wasserman Schultz said. 

Members also said they hope more women will get into politics and join their team. 

"Hopefully in the next few years when the next generation takes over we'll have more."
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

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