Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This story made me cry

The Oregonian's website headlined it, "The best tale of sportsmanship you might ever read," and I concur.

In a game abounding with playoff possibilities, a Western Oregon University softball player named Sara Tucholsky hit a 3-run home run against Central Washington University on Saturday. It was the first collegiate homer for Tucholsky, a career .153 hitter in her final college season. But before she could even touch first base, she tore the ACL in her knee and could barely reach the first bag, much less round the bases.

The umpires (mistakenly, it turned out) said her team could put in a pinch runner, but she'd be credited only with a 2-run single, not the home run. No one on her team could help her, or she'd be called out.

Just when it seemed there was no way to credit Tucholsky with the homer, in stepped the unlikeliest of problem solvers -- Mallory Holtman, a senior for Central Washington and the conference's all-time home run leader.

Could the other team, she asked, help Tucholsky around the bases?

The umpires said there was nothing in the rule book that said otherwise, so Holtman and junior teammate Liz Wallace picked up Tucholsky and walked toward home plate, stopping at each base to let her touch the bag.

At this point, it's best to let the main characters tell the rest of the story:

"We started laughing when we touched second base," Holtman said. "I said, 'I wonder what this must look like to other people.' "

Holtman got her answer when they arrived at home plate. She looked up and saw the entire Western Oregon team in tears.

"My whole team was crying," Tucholsky said. "Everybody in the stands was crying. My coach was crying. It touched a lot of people."

And WOU won the game 4-2, so the difference was Sara Tucholsky's first-ever -- and, because of her injury, last-ever -- home run. A home run helped by two incredibly generous and beautiful women with different-colored jerseys.

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  • At 4/30/2008 9:31 AM, Blogger Matawheeze said…

    This brought tears to my eyes as well. I get so cynical sometimes and it is good to hear about things like this. Hope you don't mind if I link to your posting on my site.


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