Last night, while watching the Woman’s Softball Tournament, I was remined of one of the most touching moments in women’s sports history. It took place at a women’s softball game on April 26, 2008. Central Washington and Western Oregon faced off against each other, with the winner to receive a bid to the NCAA’s Division II playoffs.
Sara Tucholsky, a Western Oregon player, came to the plate in the second inning with the score tied 0-0 and two runners on base . Sara had never hit a home run in her lifetime. However, things were about to change. She connected on a pitch and hit the ball over the center field fence. Due to her excitement, she missed first base. So she stopped and turned to go back to the base. But when she made the sudden stop and turn, she collapsed to the ground, having torn her ACL.
Her first base coach wanted to run out and help her, but if she touched Sara, she would have been counted out. As Sara lay on the ground, umpires conferred and determined that the best thing to do was to allow Western Oregon to substitute a pinch runner at first base (which would have canceled the home run).
The coach prepared to make the substitution when she heard a voice: “Excuse me, would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?'” You see, in softball, a teammate can’t touch a player while running the bases, but there’s no rule that says the opponents can’t touch her. So Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace, two players on the opposing team offered to carry Sara around the bases so that her home run would not be counted as a single. These two players gently picked up Sara, and carried her around the bases, allowing her to tap each base along the way. After reaching home plate, these two girls handed Sara off to her own teammates.
When asked later why she did it, Mallory Holtman said, “Honestly, it’s one of those things that I hope anyone would do it for me…” In other words, she was practicing the “Golden Rule” – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12)
There’s not much I can add to a touching story like that. May it serve as an inspiration to find ways in your own life to look for people who could use a hand. When we are less concerned about “winning” than we are about helping others, we can truly begin to reflect Jesus Christ in our lives.
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do for you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)