Updated 8:18 p.m. ET, 6/18/2014
Washington (CNN) – Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords threw out the first pitch at Wednesday’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game.
Giffords’s ability to throw the first pitch is a feat in itself. She played in the annual game until she was critically injured by a gunshot wound to her head. The 2011 incident killed six people and injured 17 others and forced her to resign from Congress.
The members’ team pitcher, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, walked Giffords onto the diamond in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington before nearly 1,000 spectators.
Before the game, founder and Democratic co-captain of the congressional team, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, said she’s “thrilled” that Giffords will be able to participate.
“I have played a lot of catch in my years of playing softball, but catching Gabby's first pitch will be the best snag ever!" Wasserman Schultz said.
The annual softball game is in its sixth year. Members of Congress face off against women members of the Washington media each year to raise money for the Young Survivors Coalition, an organization that provides support for young women diagnosed with breast cancer. More than $150,000 has been raised this year alone.
The Congressional team is 1-4 against the media but Giffords said she hoped her first pitch would “set the tone for the Members’ team.”
“I think I can confidently speak for all current and former female Members of Congress when I say ‘Beat the Bad News Babes!’”
CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this story.