Skip to comments.Unbelievable' sportsmanship in softball game (Ore.)
Posted on 05/07/2008 7:38:04 AM PDT by Kimmers
CWU players carry WOU player around bases after knee injury following
PORTLAND, Ore. - With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.
But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.
She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.
Story continues below ↓ advertisement
Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.
Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, asked the umpire if she and her teammates could help Tucholsky.
The umpire said there was no rule against it.
So Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholskys legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the base paths, stopping to let Tucholsky touch each base with her good leg.
The only thing I remember is that Mallory asked me which leg was the one that hurt, Tucholsky said. I told her it was my right leg and she said, OK, were going to drop you down gently and you need to touch it with your left leg, and I said OK, thank you very much.
She said, You deserve it, you hit it over the fence, and we all kind of just laughed.
We started laughing when we touched second base, Holtman said. I said, I wonder what this must look like to other people.
We didnt know that she was a senior or that this was her first home run, Wallace said Wednesday. That makes the story more touching than it was. We just wanted to help her.
Holtman said she and Wallace werent thinking about the playoff spot, and didnt consider the gesture something others wouldnt do.
As for Tucholsky, the 5-foot-2 right fielder was focused on her pain.
I really didnt say too much. I was trying to breathe, she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.
I didnt realize what was going on until I had time to sit down and let the pain relax a little bit, she said. Then I realized the extent of what I actually did.
I hope I would do the same for her in the same situation, Tucholsky added.
As the trio reached home plate, Tucholsky said, the entire Western Oregon team was in tears.
Central Washington coach Gary Frederick, a 14-year coaching veteran, called the act of sportsmanship unbelievable.
For Western Oregon coach Pam Knox, the gesture resolved the dilemma Tucholskys injury presented.
She was going to kill me if we sub and take (the home run) away. But at the same time I was concerned for her. I didnt know what to do, Knox said.
Tucholskys injury is a possible torn ligament that will sideline her for the rest of the season, and she plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in business. Her home run sent Western Oregon to a 4-2 victory, ending Central Washingtons chances of winning the conference and advancing to the playoffs.
In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much, Holtman said. It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run.
© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Wow, how refreshing, a touch of class.
Truly a touching moment. However, the umpire was in error not stopping the game and having the injured player removed from the field.
Yes, I used to umpire softball.
Wow!!! Won’t see that happen in the pro’s. Both teams are winners IMHO.
Right around the time I conclude our society is accelerating its swirl down the toilet bowl, I see a story like this. Thank you for posting this — it is always good to see the better side of humanity from time to time.
Sara Tucholsky got a lift from Central Washington's Liz Wallace, left, and Mallory Holtman.
And let a pinch runner complete the home run. The rules of baseball and softball allow a substitute to be used to take the bases earned by a hitter. The most common example is hit by pitch. It happens often in the majors, a guy gets hit, is unable to continue and the team substitutes a runner. I agree it was great sportsmanship shown by the opposing team.
That is so great!
I know what you mean, I was expecting sarcasm from the title. I didn’t think it was going to be so wonderful.
I predict Nike will suppress this (and Adidas may not).
...an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.
Still...in the interest of full disclosure...anybody who knows softball knows that in hindsight this was not necessarily an accurate statement...
Certainly at the time this was done, it appeared to be "an act" contributing "to their own elimination from the playoffs." The reality was that had she not been able to round the bases on her own, it would have been a 2-run single instead of a 3-run homer...And the team would have scored 3 runs instead of 4...enough to defeat the other team, 3-2...
Still, it takes absolutely nothing away from what these 2 defensive girls did.
And it's also possible that it did cost them the game, after all...because sometimes the losing coach will coach differently to scrape a run versus 2 or more runs.
Just flat awesome!!!!
While I agree that it appears that the local referees had it in error about what could be done, it was the SPORTSMANSHIP of the opposing team that makes them the good guys here.
This reminds me of the women’s basketball game where they allowed a girl with a broken leg to “score” and get the record.
I think this is not so “inspirational” as it would have been if she had simply hobbled her homer.
(I went to Central for a couple of years before I transferred ... this is pretty typical behavior for the type of people who go there.)
If I had been umpiring the game, the game would have been stopped.
I would assume that the situation was controlled by the home plate umpire, and it was his/her decision to allow her to be carried. I would not have allowed it for a number of reasons, but that’s just my opinion.
IOW this was pointless.
Dig deal! This kinda stuff happens all the time in the NBA!
Was also recognized as one of the top "party schools" back in the 1970s.
I believe these are NAIA schools, which generally follow NCAA guidelines.
Just wondering what rules the umpire was using, as the NCAA rules clearly show, a sub is specifically allowed, and the sub can complete the play.
A pinch runner can only advance one base on a removed player. When a batter is hit by a pitch, a pinch runner can only take one base (1st).
If a football player has a clear field to the goal line, then trips and falls before getting there. Do you award them the touchdown. I think NOT.
Stupid team. It cost them a chance at the playoffs.
I think it’s clear that the umps didn’t know the rules. A substitute player could’ve run for her and completed the HR.
Terrific story. The other team and those two girls in particular, are some natural leaders. They are to be commended.
Okay, I'll be the one to say it: that right there is the difference between men's sports and women's sports. There's just no way a man in a similar position would allow the team to carry him around the bases, let alone the other team decide to slit their own throats in the first place. And sorry, that this sort of thing is lauded in any way is yet another example of the feminization of our culture.
I still see this as diminishing these girls. She was injured fair and square and could not complete the play. she did NOT complete the play, she had artificial help.
It should ONLY count as the single not the sham homer.
Then again sports should be what you EARN not about feeeeeelings like this nonsensical manuver.
The fact that the batter has to even circle the bases after a fence-clearing homerun is pointless.
Thank God there is at least one other knuckle-dragger on this thread!
I guess the grownups are somewhere other than at your house.
The circling the bases is apparently put down on the runners stat sheet. She did not earn those bases, she only earned the single first base.
It should not be entered into her stat sheet because she did not “take her earned bases”. They might as well have brought out a golf cart and drove her around the bases.
But this gives the hippies a 1960’s feeeeeeeling of faaaaairness. Perhaps next game they should just stop scoring altogether to avoid more risk of hurt feeeeeelings.
Not technically correct. When a batter is hit by a pitch, he is "awarded" 1st base.
"126.96.36.199 If an injury to a batter-runner or runner prevents her from proceeding to an awarded base, the ball is dead and substitution may be made. The substitute must legally touch all awarded or missed bases not previously touched."
As I read this, since a homerun "awards" you with all the bases. Your pinch runner can then "legally touch all awarded or missed bases not previously touched" (in this case, 1st was missed, then 2nd, 3rd and home).
"It should ONLY count as the single not the sham homer."
Not according to the rules of the game. (see above)
She doesn't "earn" the bases by the mere act of running to them. Now, if the ball were hit into the field of play, then, yes, she would earn each base she could successfully reach. In the case of a homerun, things change. She was AWARDED all the bases for hitting the ball over the outfield fence. Just to make sure she gets what is AWARDED to her, the rules of the game stipulate what happens if she is injured and is unable to touch all the bases she has ALREADY BEEN AWARDED.
so then there would have been no loss to her for not walking the bases.
Just another example of the deficiencies of women’s sports which are allowed.
Bet you’re a friggin’ sourpuss IRS agent. What a maroon.
FWIW - “If an accident to a runner is such as to prevent him from proceeding to a base to which he is entitled, as on a home run hit out of the playing field, or an award of one or more bases, a substitute runner shall be permitted to complete the play.” MLB Official Rules, 5.10. A substitute runner should have been allowed.
Wrong Bar Bell Boy.
I was an umpire, I knew the rules, and I did my job correctly.
If that chaps your backward baseball cap, leave well enough alone and don’t reply.
Have a nice day!
Well, not exactly. The rules do stipulate that the bases have to be touched. As I said in an earlier comment, the fact that a player has to touch the bases at all after a homerun is pointless. But it is in the rules.
Wow, “Bar Bell Boy”, that’s a good one! My banking brethren and doctor/attorney pals would crack up at that one!
Actually, I prefer isometric exercises rather than bar bells and free weights—keeps me lean and strong, without getting bulky.
Maybe you need to try exercise sometime yourself. It might help you be less uptight, cranky, and IRS-agent-like... Then maybe you could enjoy life just a teensy, itsy-bitsy tad outside the rules.
Although you are correct that our culture is rapidly being feminized, neither this event nor the reaction to it serves as an example of that feminization.
As you said, this is women's sports. This is college softball. This is girls being girls, doing what girls do.
Now, if this were about college baseball players (men), then this would be yet another example of our culture going down the toilet. If (when) boys start acting like thiswhen that happens and people are gushing all over it... just shoot me.
I recall this and remember thinking how unfair it was to the original record holder. When this happens the player getting the break is severely diminished and the record itself requires an asterisk next to it.
Perhaps some of your banking, medical and legal brethern can supplement your profile.
If you were a college athlete, then apparently you never understood that games have rules.
Thanks for the exercise tip, I will be sure to factor that in to my running, weight lifting, golf and softball programs when I get time.
Man...remember when sports teams played to win? I can’t believe all the touchy feely stuff going on on this thread. I remember when Boston schools stopped keeping score for their elementary school sports and how outraged freepers were at the assault on competitiveness. Thisngs have sure changed.