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Sara Tucholsky (born ca. 1986 in Forest Grove, Oregon) is an American college softball player who played for Western Oregon University, who gained national attention when she was assisted in scoring a home run by members of the opposing team, when an injury prevented her from completing the play by running the bases on her own.
In 2008, her senior year, she was the starting right fielder on the school's softball team. On Saturday, April 26, 2008 her team was playing a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game against Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, USA. In the second inning of the game a widely admired display of sportsmanship took place. 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 126.96.36.199 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.")
Mallory Holtman, the first baseman for Central Washington, 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 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, Tucholsky, often with Holtman and Wallace, appeared on Inside Edition, The Early Show, ESPN First Take, Sports Center, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
John McCutcheon wrote and performs a song, Sara Tucholsky, about this event.
Tucholsky, Holtman, and Wallace won the 2008 Best Moment ESPY Award.
- Players' selfless act was epitome of sportsmanship, Orlando Sentinel, May 6, 2008
- Central Washington offers the ultimate act of sportsmanship, ESPN.com, April 28, 2008
- 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, The Forest Grove News-Times, May 7, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Video on YouTube