Sportsmanship shines at college softball game

Here’s a story about how sportsmanship shines at a college softball game attended by less than 100 people. The good news: for the first time, Sara Tucholsky hits a home run in a college softball game. The bad news: rounding first base, Sara tears a knee ligament and can’t even walk. The predicament: the umpire notifies her manager that her teammates cannot help carry her around the bases. Will Sara’s first home run go down as a long single? …

Sportsmanship at a College Softball Game

Sara Tucholsky’s home run results in an amazing display of sportsmanship.

“Tucholsky got a lift from the opposition in scoring her first homer.

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.

Both schools compete as Division II softball programs in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Neither has ever reached the NCAA tournament at the Division II level. But when they arrived for Saturday’s conference doubleheader at Central Washington’s 300-seat stadium in Ellensburg, a small town 100 miles and a mountain range removed from Seattle, the hosts resided one game behind the visitors at the top of the conference standings. As was the case at dozens of other diamonds across the map, two largely anonymous groups prepared to play the most meaningful games of their seasons.

It was a typical Saturday of softball in April, right down to a few overzealous fans heckling an easy target, the diminutive Tucholsky, when she came to the plate in the top of the second inning of the second game with two runners on base and the game still scoreless after Western Oregon’s 8-1 win in the first game of the afternoon.”

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Central Washington University web site:

Central Softball Players Win ESPY Award

July 17, 2008

“ELLENSBURG, Wash. — The simple act of sportsmanship by Central Washington University softball players Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace, which garnered more than a month of national media attention this past spring, has now won the girls an ESPY award for best moment in the past sports year. The girls, along with Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon, were honored Wednesday, July 16, 2008, at the taping of the 16th annual ESPY Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The ceremony will air Sunday, July 20 at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Put on by ESPN, the ESPY, Excellence in Sports Performance, is a premier sports awards event that honors individual and team athletic achievements and other sports-related performances each year. The winner in each category was decided by fan votes. This year, singer Justin Timberlake hosted the event.

The moment Holtman and Wallace were honored for is one that people are still talking about and will continue to talk about for a long time. It was during a home game at CWU on April 26, when the pair performed a selfless act of sportsmanship, that to them was “just the right thing to do,” that caught the attention of the nation.

During the game, Western Oregon senior outfielder Sara Tucholsky hit her first-ever home run. Distracted and surprised by her accomplishment, Tucholsky missed first base as she ran past it. She turned around to tag the base, but her knee gave out, sending her to the ground in pain. She had torn her ACL.”

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  1. What an lesson: how helping even our “opponent” ends up lifting everyone. What a great story and what a great example. Way to go Central Washington U! You won something far greater than a soft ball game that day!

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