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.
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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.)