Monday, May 5, 2008
The heart of an athlete~
Sports. Competition, blood, sweat, and tears, hopes and dreams make up a college athlete's daily life. Athletes want to win. They train hard. They want the best record. It's a matter of pride. A game is for winning.
But sometimes the heart supercedes the ego as in the case of the softball game played at Western Oregon College where senior Sara Tucholsky hit a homerun-- her first ever.
She bolted down the baseline and rounded first and saw the ball sail over the fence. She slowed to jog the bases to home plate, collect her high fives and bask in some glory.
But Sara knew she had missed first base and when she turned to touch the bag , she wrenched her knee and fell to the ground curled in pain.
Rules. They can seem heartless.
The rules that define college softball say there is no home run until home plate is reached. Sara would be called out if her teammates touch her. A pinch runner could go in, but the hit would become a single.
Sara remained on the ground. Two teammates remained on base. Coaches deliberated. A three run homer was in contention.
Then, in an act straight from the heart, players from opposing Central Washington University asked the umpire if they could help her.
Rules. Sometimes there just isn't one.
So opposing players Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace formed a chair with their arms and a seated Sara was carried around baseline to home plate amidst tears and cheers.
Her three-run homer counted. Western Oregon won 4 -2, and Central Washington lost their chance to win the conference and get into the playoffs.
But the losing team did win. The game of life is a far harder game than softball. The Central Washington girls are all-stars in the game of life.
Find the story here.