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Sara Tucholsky - An Inspiring Softball Story

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In a small town in middle of Washington state, on a field inside a chainlinked fence, in a game fewer than 100 people saw, a home run memorable not for the distance it traveled, or the game it decided, but for the meaning it carried. The last Saturday in April, the second game of a softball double-header between Central Washington and Western Oregon... We were both neck to neck fighting for the conference championship. As a senior, this was Sara Tucholsky's last chance to win a championship. She'd never hit a home run before, not in college, not in her life. At 5'2'' feet [160 cm], I'm not very tall. I'm more of line drive hitter, I don't hit for power. But in the top of the second inning with two runners on on the second pitch, that changed. [batter's hit --> home run --> audience cheering] I hit that pitch and... it just went... And we're just cheering and the runners are cheering as they round the base to head to home and then I'm going: 'Where is Sara?' In her excitement, Tucholsky failed to touch 1. base so she quickly turned back. Her pivot leg just didn't pivot with her and I heard her yell and she just dropped to the ground and I was like 'Oh no.' Just fell immediately and was in a lot of pain. I tried to keep my legs straight, but I was in so much pain that I couldn't really keep still. Tucholsky, with a torn a.c.l. crawled back to 1. base. She was a long way from reaching home plate and keeping her first and only home run. When she got back to 1. base, she laid there and hugged on to 1. base and then... I at that time was staring at the base... I go: 'What on Earth are we gonna do?' And I turned to umpire standing right next to me and said: "What is the ruling if I put somebody in for Sara?" He said: "It'll be a two-run single." If anybody on her team would have helped Sara, she would have been called out. That was the problem. None of Tucholsky's teammates were allowed to touch her. That's when Central Washington's Mallory Holtman a player with more home runs than any other in conference history, a player for the opposing team, spoke up. I went to the home plate umpire and asked if we could picked her up and carry her. He looked at me a little strange... And the umpire went and said: "Yes, you can do that." I'm still standing there in shock, I said: "Thank you so much." We asked her: "Is it ok, if we pick you up and carry you around the bases? And I say: Yes!...Thank you! and she says: "You hit the ball over the fence, you deserve it." [audience applauding] For that reason only, because she deserved it Holtman and Wallace began to carry the injured Tucholsky, stopping to touch her left foot on each base, as the three made their way around the diamond. We actually started laughing, because we were just wondering what this would look like to all the people in the stands... When I looked up I didn't see no giant, like smiles and screams, I saw emotion and tears and people crying. It's a great moment when someone has character to step up and do the right thing at the right time. It's emotional... you are proud! to be associated with those kids. [people in the stands applauding] The fact is I made my goal - I hit a home run. Yeah, it's my last at-bat of my career, but I - you know, made my goal, so... I'm proud of myself. Mallory Holtman, Liz Wallace and the Central Washington team lost the game that day 4:2. Sara Tucholsky lost the rest of her season and her career to a knee injury. But for the spirit of sportsmanship, a greater victory, made on a long trot around the bases, a trip that truly touched them all. I have a lot of respect for her and hold her in high regards, her and her teammates. And, you know... I can't thank her enough.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 28 seconds
Year: 2013
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: ESPN
Director: ESPN
Views: 172
Posted by: rakosnicek on Dec 21, 2013

This story is about Sara Tucholsky. During a baseball game after hitting a home run, she sustained a serious knee injury, and some teammates reached out to help her out. Did I say 'her' teammates? Oh no... from the other team! She got a lift from Central Washington's Liz Wallace, and Mallory Holtman. What a real awesome story of courage, compassion and human spirit.

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