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COMCAST SPORTSNET PARTNERS WITH PRO ATHLETES ORGANIZATION ON SOFTBALL EVENT BENEFITTING WOUNDED VETERANS

COMCAST SPORTSNET PARTNERS WITH PRO ATHLETES ORGANIZATION ON SOFTBALL EVENT BENEFITTING WOUNDED VETERANS

Bethesda, Md. (May 4, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has partnered with Pro Athletes Organization (PAO) to become the primary sponsor and media partner of a successful annual softball event that benefits charities that assist wounded veterans. The2015 Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic,which will be open to the public,will be held at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, Md., home of the Bowie Baysox, on June 6 at 7 p.m.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. The Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic will feature members of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST), which is comprised of amputee veterans who have overcome severe injuries to again become competitive athletes. They will be joined on the field by numerous high-profile athletes, including several current NFL players, for a seven-inning game filled with entertainment, activities and special guests. 

The teams will be led by managers Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins and Dennis Pitta of the Baltimore Ravens, and captains NaVorro Bowman and Darnell Dockett, area natives and members of the San Francisco 49ers. Other expected players include Redskins Niles Paul, Nick Sundberg, Silas Redd and Ricky Jean-Francois, and Raven Mike Campanaro. Comcast SportsNet host and analyst Brian Mitchell, a former Redskins great, will also appear in the game.

The Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic will be featured by Comcast SportsNet in a one-hour special. The program will showcase the event, the amputee veterans and their personal stories, the athletes who support the event, and the organizations that serve wounded veterans. It will mark first time the event will be the focus of a long-form television program. The show will debut in mid-June and will be presented as an encore multiple times this summer. A complete list of air dates and times will be announced at a later date.

“This event will make for a very entertaining and inspirational evening for families, sports fans and supporters of the military, and it’s all for a great cause,” said Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic President Rebecca Schulte. “We are excited to showcase these truly amazing amputee players, along with the generous high-profile athletes that will participate, on the field and in our coverage. It’s an honor to support this event and the charities and veterans it will serve.”    

Comcast SportsNet will provide significant promotion across its television and digital media platforms to support the event and its beneficiaries. The game and its participants will also be highlighted in the network’s news and entertainment shows, as well as in vignettes. PenFed, the official partner of military coverage on Comcast SportsNet, will serve as the presenting sponsor of the network’s event-related promotion and content, including the special program.

Organized by PAO, the event is now in its third year and has raised more than $130,000 for local charities and has generated significant awareness for wounded veterans’ causes and issues. TheComcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic will benefit the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Connected Warrior Foundation, Disabled Sports USA, WWAST and Operation Second Chance, a Comcast SportsNet community partner.

Tickets for the Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic are $20, but are available for $15 for children and active-duty military and veterans. A limited number of premium seats, which will include a gift bag, are $40. Tickets may be purchased in advance at csnwashington.com/softball or at the stadium on gameday. A $4 processing charge will be applied.

In addition, 200 tickets will be available to active-duty military and veterans from May 15-20 at Sport Fit Bowie and The Bungalow locations in Sterling, Va., Chantilly, Va., and Potomac Mills, Va. Comcast SportsNet will also donate tickets to Operation Second Chance for the wounded veterans they serve, along with its volunteers and partners.

The Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic is supported by several partners through financial and in-kind donations, led by presenting sponsor Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics (MCOP.) For more information on MCOP, please visit mcopro.com. Other sponsors that specialize in amputee services include Ossur, Ottobock and Cascade Orthopedic Supply. Sponsorship opportunities for the event are still available. For more information, please contact P.A.O.

Comcast SportsNet is committed to making a positive impact in the community, and the Comcast SportsNet Amputee Warrior Softball Classic will further that mission. The network is actively involved with numerous non-profit organizations in the region and supports more than 80 community events and initiatives each year. The network’s beneficiaries include primary community partners Operation Second Chance, Most Valuable Kids, Neediest Kids and Men Against Breast Cancer.

About The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team: The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team™ (WWAST) is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to inspire and educate others while enhancing the health and welfare of wounded warrior amputees. The WWAST represents some of our nation’s bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers and veterans. These men have sustained severe injuries resulting in amputation, and through extensive rehabilitation, they have become competitive athletes again, playing against able-bodied teams in exhibition games across the country. For more information, visit woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org

About Pro Athletes Organization: Pro Athletes Organization (PAO), a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded to help raise funds for charities and causes using strategic partnerships with professional athletes through sports programming and literature. Promoting the responsible giving of professional and veteran athletes’ time, P.A.O. is currently working with amputee veterans charities, anti-bullying awareness campaigns and recycled sports equipment (Keep the Ball Rolling). For more information, visit proathletesorganization.org, or contact Akili Cooper or Torrey Pocock at (202) 351-1344.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, part of NBC Sports Regional Networks, is the official sports network of the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens, NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, MLS’s D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the leading multiplatform sports media organization serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia – delivers more than 500 live events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.7 million homes. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic’s digital media portfolio, highlighted by CSNWashington.com and CSNBaltimore.com, is the region’s top online source for written, video and interactive sports content. Follow Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic on Twitter at @CSNMA.

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of NBC Sports Group, consists of 10 regional networks that deliver more than 2,200 live sporting events annually, along with award-winning breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming to more than 43 million homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, which serves Baltimore and Washington D.C., Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and SportsNet New York. For additional information, visit ComcastSportsNet.com. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

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5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

After losing three straight, the Capitals battled back in Game 6 on Monday. With their 3-0 win, Washington forced the Eastern Conference Final into a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday.

Here is how the Caps did it.

1. Braden Holtby matched Andrei Vasilevskiy save for save

Andrei Vasilevskiy was just as great in this game as he was in the three previous, but one of the major differences in this one was that Holtby was just as good. He may not have been tested as much (Vasilevskiy made 32 saves, Holtby 24), but he was big when the team needed.

In the second period with the scored tied at 0, Holtby made one of the most critical saves perhaps of the entire season when he denied Anthony Cirelli with the toe on a 2-on-1. When the Caps took the lead, Holtby really shut the door in the third period with 10 saves to cap off what was his fifth career playoff shutout and first shutout of the entire season.

2. T.J. Oshie’s timely goal

Over halfway into the game, it looked like it was just going to be one of those nights. Caps fans know it well by now. Washington outplays their opponent, they get chance after chance and develop a whopping advantage in shots, but they run into a hot goalie and a random play suddenly turns into a goal for the other team, game and season over.

Vasilevskiy was on his way to having perhaps his best performance of the series. Considering how he played in the three games prior to Game 6, that’s saying something. The Caps were doing everything right, but he continued to make save after save. Then on the power play in the second period, John Carlson struck the inside of the post, the horn went off and the roar of the crowd gave way to dismay as the referee waved his arms to indicate there was no goal and play continued. Just seconds later, T.J. Oshie gave the Caps the 1-0 lead.

You have to wonder if doubt was starting to creep into the back of the minds of the players when that puck struck the post as they wondered what else they had to do to beat Vasilevskiy. Luckily, that feeling didn’t last long.

3. Special teams

Braydon Coburn’s tripping penalty in the second period gave Washington its only power play of the night and its first since the second period of Game 4. They had to make it count given how well Vasilveskiy was playing and they did.

Washington now has a power play goal in each of their three wins against the Lightning and no power play goals in their three losses. So yeah, it’s significant.

Tampa Bay had two opportunities of their own, but Washington managed to kill off both power plays in the penalty kill’s best performance of the series.

4. Washington’s physical game plan

On paper, the Lightning are better than the Caps in most categories. One area in which Washington has the edge, however, is physical play and it was clear very early that they intended to use that to their advantage in Game 6. Tampa Bay was pushed around and they seemed to struggle to recover.

Ovechkin was a one-man wrecking ball out there hitting everything that moved. The energy he brought with every hit was palpable and both the team and the crowd fed on it.

Washington was credited with 39 hits on the night compared to Tampa Bay’s 19. Ovechkin had four of those as did Nicklas Backstrom while Devante Smith-Pelly contributed five and Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six.

5. Fourth line dagger

Tampa Bay’s fourth line was the story of Game 5, but Washington’s fourth line sealed the deal on Monday with its third period goal.

Chandler Stephenson beat out an icing call, forcing Braydon Coburn to play the puck along the wall. Jay Beagle picked it up, fed back to Stephenson who backhanded a pass for the perfect setup for Devante Smith-Pelly.

Smith-Pelly scored seven goals in the regular season. He now has four in the playoffs.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

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