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The Latest: White House to cheer on congressional players

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the annual congressional baseball game (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

The White House plans to cheer on members of Congress at their annual baseball game Thursday night - a year after some Republican players and others were wounded in a shooting spree at a team practice in Virginia.

Presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says "those injured have fought hard for this moment and we will proudly be cheering them on." Sanders says she's heard "the Republican team looks pretty good in practice and they are headed for victory."

The game at Nationals Park falls exactly one year after a gunman opened fire at the Republicans' practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Among those wounded was the third-ranking House GOP leader, Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise (skuh-LEES').

He's expected to start at second base.

Members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet plan to attend the game.

___

9:45 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is recalling the morning one year ago when one of his top colleagues, Steve Scalise (skuh-LEES'), was shot during a baseball practice in Virginia.

Ryan tells a group of Hispanic leaders that days like that make you think about what truly matters in life.

The Wisconsin Republican says he was on the telephone with Scalise's wife one year ago at the same time as Thursday's National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast.

Ryan says he didn't know how bad the injuries were from the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. Ryan says he learned that Scalise - a Louisiana congressman who's the No. 3 House Republican leader - had no blood pressure and no pulse when he was taken out of a helicopter at a Washington hospital.

Ryan says he remembers people across the country letting him know they were praying for Scalise.

Ryan says those prayers worked "because we have our friend Steve Scalise back at work and those prayers have been answered."

___

8:10 a.m.

Look for Steve Scalise (skuh-LEES') to be wearing a U.S. Capitol Police ball cap at Thursday night's annual congressional baseball game.

The cap is in honor of the two officers who returned fire after the Republican congressman from Louisiana and four others were shot at a GOP practice a year ago in Alexandria, Virginia.

Scalise was gravely wounded from the shooting. He's had nine surgeries and still walks with crutches or a cane.

The third-ranking House Republican leader tells Fox News said that while he still has physical limitations, he'll be starting at second base for the game at National Park.

The 52-year-old lawmaker jokes that "tells you how bad the talent level is." He says he "can field balls and still make the throw at first."

Scalise says President Donald Trump called him Wednesday to wish him well.

__

1:03 a.m.

The annual baseball game between congressional Republicans and Democrats carries special significance, coming a year since the ball-field shooting that almost killed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Republicans have largely maintained their support for gun rights despite other mass shootings since the attack last year on their practice session in Alexandria, Virginia.

Scalise himself says the shooting "deepened my appreciation for the Second Amendment because it was people with guns who saved my life and every other member out there."

Scalise is expected to start at second base in Thursday night's game at Nationals Park. Top Republicans are hoping President Donald Trump attends, though the White House hasn't said one way or the other.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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