Nervous Emerson chugs a cold one

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), a Congressional Women’s Softball Game team co-captain, was so nervous about pitching the first three innings on Tuesday that she self-medicated, calming her nerves with “a cold beer” between the first and second innings.

Almost as soon as the words “cold beer” were out of her mouth, however, her attending staffer interjected, “You mean, a sip of beer.” Whether it was one sip or 10, Emerson’s strategy worked. The slight buzz led to her best showing of the three innings she pitched; she even notched a strikeout.

 CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash, who volunteered to announce the game, also improvised at the last minute. “There I was, at 6:15 p.m., doing a standup on Wolf [Blitzer’s] show,” she said after the game, “and as soon as I finished I kicked the boys out of the room, threw my jeans on, and made it here by 6:45 p.m.”

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Following the game, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hugged injured Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-Fla.) two young children, before joking to the crowd that “some believe that more innings might have changed the outcome of this game … ” (Staffers beat members 14-8 after taking a 12-0 lead.)

Wasserman Schultz left the field in an ambulance headed for Georgetown Hospital, where the Florida Democrat was diagnosed with a sprained ankle and a broken leg, suffered while sliding into second base.

According to her office, the congresswoman would like to stress that she was safe at second.

The lawmaker arrived home from the hospital on crutches Wednesday at 1 a.m., and still managed to make a full schedule of morning meetings and a series of five House votes on Wednesday afternoon.

Members mingle at new museum

Ford’s Theatre, site of the 1865 shooting of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, opened a new visitors museum this week and commemorated the event with a reception and fundraiser on Tuesday for donors and political heavyweights.

Spotted in the crowd: Sens. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); MSNBC’s Chris Matthews; and plenty of lobbyists whose corporate contributions helped build the museum.

Finders keepers

Calling all do-gooders: On Friday, for the first time ever, if you find a wallet on the ground outside the Capitol, chances are you can keep it.

That’s because wireless provider Cricket will be dropping 2,000 wallets around the D.C. metro area, each filled with discount offers and/or prizes, including a trip to the Big Apple for two. The company also reports that two über-wallets with $5,000 each will be placed throughout the area.

Republicans poised to party

For many young Republican staffers, summer in the city wouldn’t be the same without the Capital Club’s rowdy annual summer party, the Sinatra Soiree, which takes place Thursday at the National Building Museum from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

According to organizers, more than 1,000 tickets have already been sold for the shindig, which is known for over-the-top preppy styles (think pastel-pink “whale” pants topped off with a Madras plaid blazer) and aggressive swing-dancing, made possible by a 16-piece Sinatra cover band and an abundance of gin-and-tonics.

Notable guests and Capital Club members this year include NBC’s Luke Russert, legislative aide Watson Donald from Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-Ala.) office, National Rifle Association lobbyist John Goodwin, Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal managing director Mat Lapinski, Gin and Tonic — Glover’s Park Tavern owner Fritz Brogan and Quinn Gillespie’s Drew Cole. Tickets are available online at capital-club.com until Thursday at $65 for women and $75 for men. Door tickets will be available at the event for $100.

Love, Ron Paul-style

“We put the LOVE back in rEVOLution” is the slogan of a new website, ronpaulsingles.com, which aims to match like-minded libertarians for long-term love (with minimal government intervention, of course). While there are currently only 96 members (70 gents and 26 ladies), the site, which began in June, is doubtless the only place online where “ladyliberty” might fall for “freewillthinker.”

 A prominently placed statement from the site’s developers declares that it is neither paid for by, nor officially affiliated in any way with, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), but a link to the congressman’s Campaign for Liberty organization is front and center on the page.

The congressman’s Capitol Hill office declined to comment, but Campaign for Liberty spokesman Jesse Benton applauded the site. “This is just another example of freedom bringing people together,” he said. “As we’ve always believed, individuals should make love,  not war.”