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Missouri lawmakers find a bipartisan cause to unite behind: beating Illinois in softball

Rep. Ron Copeland, R-Salem, center, cheers on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Rep. Ron Copeland, R-Salem, center, cheers on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Missouri and Illinois' lawmakers crossed the political aisle in hopes of securing the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown crown, but Missouri reigned victorious once more in a 10-2 blowout.

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 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 which 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 9-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.”

Rep. Don Mayhew, R-Crocker, steps forward to receive the Missouri team MVP award on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, after the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Rep. Don Mayhew, R-Crocker, steps forward to receive the Missouri team MVP award on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, after the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

The annual match-up 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 bi-state 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-Collinsville. "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."

See photos from the softball showdown below.

Sen. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, walks onto the field to warm up on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, before the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, walks onto the field to warm up on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, before the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Illinois State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, chuckles after he attempted to sing the last note of the Star Spangled Banner that ended up out of tune on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, chuckles after he attempted to sing the last note of the Star Spangled Banner that ended up out of tune on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Sen. Nick Schroer, R-O'Fallon stretches during pre-game warmups on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, before the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Nick Schroer, R-O'Fallon stretches during pre-game warmups on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, before the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

An Illinois legislator hits the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, in the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
An Illinois legislator hits the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, in the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Two Missouri legislators collide while going for a fly ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Two Missouri legislators collide while going for a fly ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Jay Hoffman,D-Belleville), left, high fives members of the Illinois team on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Jay Hoffman,D-Belleville), left, high fives members of the Illinois team on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, launches the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, launches the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, pitches the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, pitches the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Rep. Steve Butz, D-St. Louis, stretches in the dugout on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
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St. Louis Public Radio
Rep. Steve Butz, D-St. Louis, stretches in the dugout on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Illinois Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, tags out Missouri Sen. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, tags out Missouri Sen. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Illinois Rep Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, cheers on her team on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois Rep Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, cheers on her team on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Illinois legislators stand in the dugout on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois legislators stand in the dugout on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Sen. Nick Schroer, R-O'Fallon slips after hitting the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, before the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Nick Schroer, R-O'Fallon slips after hitting the ball on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, before the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

From left: Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson, and Rep. Bishop Davidson, R-Republic, sit in the dugout on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
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St. Louis Public Radio
From left: Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson, and Rep. Bishop Davidson, R-Republic, sit in the dugout on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Holly Jones, R-Eureka, laughs with an umpire as she is called out on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Holly Jones, R-Eureka, laughs with an umpire as she is called out on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Illinois Sen. Adriane Johnson, D-Waukegan, embraces Illinois State Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois Sen. Adriane Johnson, D-Waukegan, embraces Illinois State Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Sen. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, wears a Missouri flag arm sleeve on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, wears a Missouri flag arm sleeve on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Water is poured on the leg of Rep. Dane Diehl, R-Butler, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium. Diehl had a lengthy burn on his leg after sliding on the dirt.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Water is poured on the leg of Rep. Dane Diehl, R-Butler, on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium. Diehl had a lengthy burn on his leg after sliding on the dirt.

From left: Rep. Tara Peters, R-Rolla, and Rep. Ron Copeland, R-Salem, take a picture of Holly Jones, R-Eureka, after her at-bat on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
From left: Rep. Tara Peters, R-Rolla, and Rep. Ron Copeland, R-Salem, take a picture of Holly Jones, R-Eureka, after her at-bat on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Missouri Rep. Don Mayhew, R-Crocker, reacts as officials confer on whether to call someone out in the seventh inning on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Rep. Don Mayhew, R-Crocker, reacts as officials confer on whether to call someone out in the seventh inning on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

A post-game celebration is reflected in a pair of sunglasses on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, after the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
A post-game celebration is reflected in a pair of sunglasses on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, after the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Holly Jones, R-Eureka, cheers on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Holly Jones, R-Eureka, cheers on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, during the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown at Busch Stadium.

Missouri’s team captain and Majority Floor Leader Jon Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, accepts the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown trophy from Today in St. Louis anchor Rene Knott on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at Busch Stadium.
Tristen Rouse
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri’s team captain and Majority Floor Leader Jon Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, accepts the 2023 Bi-State Softball Showdown trophy from Today in St. Louis anchor Rene Knott on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at Busch Stadium.

Copyright 2023 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Brian Munoz
Tristen Rouse
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