Wednesday July 20, 2011 | 08:04 AM

Around Capitol Hill, the competition on the softball field between teams from various lawmakers' offices is as intensive as any legislative battle - and often much more satisfying than dealing with partisan gridlock.

So forgive Sen. Olympia Snowe's office for crowing a bit about the success this season enjoyed by the Maine Republican's "Snowe Business" softball team. Snowe Business, a reference to the senator's spot as top Republican on the small business committee, won its first ever division championship this week when it finished 8-0.

Ahead lie the playoffs and a chance at the trophy.

There are 74 teams in eight divisions in the United States Senate Softball League, including teams sponsored by individual offices, as well as committees, federal agencies and trade associations.

Snowe didn't take the field, but she said she is proud that her team has joined a New England sports team tradition for "outlasting the competition and racking up sports championships"

There's also a game scheduled that may be even more precious to Snowe Business than the trophy at stake in the playoffs: an "exhibition" match up against the team from the office of the other Maine Republican in the Senate, Susan Collins. But in announcing that game, Snowe's office noted that Collins' "Maine LobStars" team has a record this year of just 1-5.


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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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