Story adapted from Inspiring Stories of Sportsmanship

By: Brad Herzog

Sara Tucholsky was a starter for the 2008 Western Oregon University softball team but was not having a good season at the plate. She was batting .153 when she started a game at Central Washington University. She had not hit a home run all season, not even in batting practice. But when she came to bat with two women on base in the second inning, she got her pitch and sent the ball over the center field fence.

As Tucholsky rounded first base, she missed the bag, and when she turned around to touch it, her knee gave out and she collapsed in pain. While her teammates and coach offered to help her clear the bases, the umpire told them that they could not help her do so. And if they replaced her with a pinch runner, the hit would be considered a single.

At that point the opposing first base player, Central Washington’s all-time home run leader Mallory Holtman, asked if opposing players could help the injured player run the bases? When the umpire said there was no rule against that, Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace carried Tucholsky around the diamond so she could touch all the bases … to the cheers and tears of fans in the crowd.

After the game it turned out that the umpires had been wrong. Tucholsky could have been carried around by her own players. But the mistake allowed for a magic moment and showed the Central Washington players’ humanity, a sportsmanship moment to remember forever.

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