Mallory Holtman is an American college softball coach for Central Washington University. She gained national attention when, as a player for Central Washington, she assisted an opposing player in scoring a home run, when an injury prevented her opponent from completing a play by running the bases on her own.
In 2008, her senior year, Holtman was the starting first baseman on the Central Washington's softball team. On April 26, 2008 her team was playing a Great Northwest Athletic Conference home game against Western Oregon University in Ellensburg, Washington. During the game, she performed a widely-documented display of sportsmanship. Western Oregon's Sara Tucholsky hit a three-run home run, the first in her college career, but injured her knee while going back to tag first base after she realized that she did not touch the bag. As per the official rules, none of Tucholsky's teammates could assist her in running the bases. In addition, as per the rules stated by the game's umpires, Tucholsky's hit would only count as a two-run single if she were replaced by a pinch runner. (A story of the occurrence on ESPN.com later revealed that the game umpires misinterpreted rule 220.127.116.11 of the NCAA softball rule book, which states, "If an injury to a batter-runner or runner prevents her from proceeding to an awarded base, the ball is dead and the substitution can be made. The substitute must legally touch all awarded or missed bases not previously touched.")
Holtman then asked the umpires if she could assist Tucholsky to home plate. After a brief discussion, the umpires decided it would be acceptable. So Holtman and teammate shortstop Liz Wallace carried Tucholsky to home plate, gently dropping her legs at each base they passed. All three players received a standing ovation at home plate. Western Oregon went on to win the game 4-2.
In the weeks following the initial ESPN.com reports, Holtman and Wallace, often with Tucholsky, have appeared on Inside Edition, The Early Show, ESPN First Take, SportsCenter, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Tucholsky, Holtman, and Wallace won the 2008 Best Moment ESPY Award. During the show, they re-created the event when host Justin Timberlake pretended to injure his knee at the end of his musical number "I Love Sports". The three women carried him off the stage.
The three also participated in a 12th man flag raising ceremony before the start of the August 22, 2009 pre season game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos NFL teams at Qwest Field in Seattle. Holtman, to date, is the Northwest Conference's, all-time leader in home runs and RBI's. She, Wallace, and Tucholsky were also All-Academic first team for the conference.
In 2010, Holtman was named head coach of Central Washington's softball team.
- Players' selfless act was epitome of sportsmanship, Orlando Sentinel, May 6, 2008
- Hays, Graham (April 28, 2008). "Central Washington offers the ultimate act of sportsmanship". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
- The rule did not change in 2009. See: "Softball: 2009 Rules and Interpretations" (pdf). NCAA. Retrieved 2009-09-22.[dead link]
- "Central Softball Sportsmanship Story Receives Overwhelming Response From People All Across The Country". May 2, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-22.[dead link]
- A Sporting Gesture Touches 'Em All, New York Times, April 30, 2008
- Game statistics and play-by-play, Western Oregon University Wolves website
- Selfless act generates media frenzy, News-Times, May 7, 2008
- "ESPY Award winners". ESPN. July 17, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Darda, Joe (July 21, 2008). "CWU Softball Players Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace Win ESPY for Best Moment". Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- "Flag Raisers - Holtman, Tucholsky, Wallace". Retrieved 2009-09-22.