Washington • Rep. Mia Love clutched a batting helmet outside the GOP dugout for half of the Congressional Baseball Game as the Republican team allowed the Democrats 10 runs.
Maybe they should have put her in sooner.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Love, a Utah Republican playing her inaugural game and the only woman on the GOP team, came in as a designated runner for Rep. Trent Kelly of Mississippi.
And she helped give the struggling GOP team — with only one run on the board — a much-needed boost.
Love stole second. Then she stole third.
And then, with a colleague’s single out to the outfield, she scored, joining two other Republicans crossing home plate to make the score 10-4.
It didn’t matter, as the Democrats answered back with six runs in the fifth and ultimately claimed victory in a landslide 21-5.
But it was all for fun.
The game, held at Nationals Park within walking distance of the Capitol, was expected to raise a half-million dollars for various children’s charities in the Washington region.
It’s also one of the few remaining bipartisan events in the nation’s capital, that while competitive, was about camaraderie and meeting each other outside the Capitol at a time when both parties are sharply divided.
Thursday’s game came exactly one year after a gunman opened fire at a practice for the Republican team, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was seriously wounded.
Scalise, of Louisiana, came back on the field Thursday, starting at second base where he fielded the first play and whipped the ball to first to oust the Democratic runner.
Love, who donned a Salt Lake Bees jersey for the match, got on base two more times during the game but failed to score again.
She’ll get another chance next week when she plays in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.