Sportsmanship… Defined by Example

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Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky had never hit a home run in her career. Central Washington senior Mallory Holtman was already her school’s career leader in them. But when a twist of fate and a torn knee ligament brought them face to face with each other and face to face with the end of their playing days, they combined on a home run trot that celebrated the collective human spirit far more than individual athletic achievement.

Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace [from the opposing team] lifted Tucholsky off the ground and supported her weight between them as they began a slow trip around the bases, stopping at each one so Tucholsky’s left foot could secure her passage onward. Even with Tucholsky feeling the pain of what trainers subsequently came to believe was a torn ACL (she was scheduled for tests to confirm the injury on Monday), the surreal quality of perhaps the longest and most crowded home run trot in the game’s history hit all three players.

Tucholsky had hit a home run, and while running between first and second blew out her right knee. The rules of baseball/softball state that even on a home run, the batter must round the bases touching each one. If she couldn’t make it around, her home run, the only one in her career, wouldn’t count.

Members of the opposing team decided to take matters in their own hands and carried her around the diamond.

Sometimes, people do things that give me faith in humanity.