Sara Tucholsky, a 5’2″ part-time starter on the University of Western Oregon’s softball team, had never hit a home run in her entire career – not until she pounded one over the fence in a conference championship game against Central Washington University this year.
However, Sara tore an ACL in her knee as she rounded first base. She collapsed onto the field, unable to complete the circuit she needed to make her homer official. Her teammates were unable to help, because the umpire explained that any assistance they offered would automatically disqualify the hit. It was a frustrating situation because Sara had, after all, hit an obvious home run.
And that’s when a remarkable example of sportsmanship occurred. Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace, Sara’s opponents on the Central Washington squad picked her up and carried her around the bases, touching her foot on each base and making her home run official. Holtman is Central Washington record holder in almost every category. And this was not a throw-away game – it was the conference championship!
Sports often provides a stage that shows the true character of people. The Central Washington players knew that Sara deserved the home run and the circuit around the bases was a mere formality. So they did what was right, instead of taking advantage of the rulebook.
Bravo to the Mallory and Liz and the Central Washington players, their coach and all those who obviously instilled the correct values in these young women. In fact, this demonstration of sportsmanship will affect more people in a positive way than a simple victory ever could.
To sum it up, in Sarah’s words “My whole team was crying. It touched a lot of people.”
The game was covered in an ESPN video piece. You can see it at:
P.S. Central Washington lost the game 4-2. Western Oregon went on to attend the NCAA Division II Championships for the first time in their history.
Dick Moss, Editor,