Missouri and Illinois lawmakers crossed the political aisle in hopes of securing the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown crown, but Missouri was victorious once more.
Reprising their victory from last year, Missouri trampled the Illinois delegation in a 10-2 win Monday night at Busch Stadium.
The Land of Lincoln's team struggled to get on the board as the Show-Me-State secured a pair of runs in the first and second inning. Missouri then sealed the title in the fifth with a 6-run rally that was too much for Illinois to overcome.
Missouri state Rep. Don Mayhew, R-Crocker, said the key to the game was playing defensively. "[When] you have runners on [base], you got to figure out a way to get them home. We were fortunate enough to have some pretty good hitters and to keep those base runners moving," he said. "The ball goes one direction or the other, it's Illinois holding the winning trophy."
State Rep. Tera Peters, R-Rolla, competed in the annual contest for the first time after a nine-game softball series during the legislative session. “I’m telling you when you walk out there [you just say] this is awesome,” she said about playing at Busch Stadium, adding she was optimistic about the Missouri team this year. “We’ve got some big corn-fed boys, so I think it’s going to be good.”
The annual matchup is spearheaded by Greater St. Louis Inc. to "celebrate the bi-state, bipartisan cooperation that makes the St. Louis metro strong."
“St. Louis is resurgent, and the work our state legislators do in Jefferson City and Springfield is a key factor in our efforts to move the metro forward,” said Greater St. Louis Inc. CEO Jason Hall. “We are very fortunate that our bi-state, bipartisan delegation works together to drive pro-growth policy in both state legislatures, and we want to take a moment to celebrate their efforts to move our metro forward.”
Lawmakers at the event echoed the need for bipartisanship in helping the region grow.
"As a representative of this area I know how important it is that we work with the entire St. Louis region in bringing [forward] jobs, economic development, [and] infrastructure improvements," said Illinois House Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea. "This [event] just fosters the friendships and camaraderie that's necessary to do that."
Missouri House Majority Floor Leader Jon Patterson, R-Lee's Summit, said it's good to be able to share time with folks outside of the state legislature over a shared experience — like softball. "I think it's good when you get to hang out with people that are of different parties and you get to know each other as people," he said. "I think that's always a good thing."
Mayhew was named the most valuable player for the Missouri delegation in addition to celebrating his 63rd birthday. "We met a lot of legislators from Illinois," he said. "Come to find out, we're an awful lot alike."