Sportsmanship on display in college softball game

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, May 1, 2008.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #1
    The Western Oregon softball team has turned its focus back to competition after a topsy-turvy week that began with a singular act of sportsmanship that has attracted national attention.
    The Wolves, who play in Division II, opened a three-game showdown with Seattle on Thursday as they go after their first Great Northwest Athletic Conference title. Western Oregon has a shot at that crown in part because of a unique victory vs. Central Washington last Saturday.

    In the second game of a doubleheader, WOU's Sara Tucholsky slammed what appeared to be a three-run homer over the centerfield fence, the senior's first in either high school or college. But Tucholsky wrenched her knee at first base and collapsed.

    Umpires ruled that a pinch-runner could replace Tucholsky, but she would be credited with a single and only two runs would count. After being assured there was no rule against it, Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace carried Tucholsky around the bases, completing her homer and adding a run to a 4-2 loss that eliminated the Wildcats from postseason.

    As word of the game spread, Tucholsky and Holtman have been featured on national television and radio, and written about in newspapers across the country.

    "It has been magical and crazy at the same time," Tucholsky said Thursday. "I'm surprised at how many people have paid attention to this and how far the story has gone. But there are so many negative images of athletes now. Here is one with a positive image."

    Holtman, who had the idea to assist Tucholsky, has also been caught off guard by the ripples.

    "At the time, we never thought it would be that big a deal. It just seemed like something anyone would have done," Holtman said. "I've probably had 50 e-mails and text messages from people I've never met, thanking me. It's really cool that people have responded to this so positively."

    Not all the responses have been pleasant. One person labeled Holtman a selfish player who did not consider her teammates. Tucholsky received an e-mail criticizing women's lack of competitive spirit.

    "That really bothered me," said Tucholsky, who fears she has a torn ligament that will end her career. "We are very definitely competitive, but this was a situation were sportsmanship overrode our competitiveness."

    Wolves' coach Pam Knox has tried to prepare her team for its championship push while putting Saturday's game in perspective.

    "When it happened I knew it was the best moment in my coaching career," she said. "I started calling my friends and family and they cried when I told them the story. So I knew this was something bigger than just me being emotional.

    "Some people are trying to say this is something men would never have done. I think that's an unfair statement. You would hope guys would have the character to do the right thing at the right time."

    Knox gives Tucholsky major credit for serving as the lightning rod for all the reporters (she was up at 2:30 a.m. Thursday for a TV interview), allowing her teammates to focus on the Seattle series.

    "I'm from a small town, and I'm actually pretty shy, so all this is strange to me," Tucholsky said. "But we have some big games to play. I don't want all this to distract from what our team is trying to do."
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2008-05-01-softball-sportsmanship_N.htm
     
  2. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    #2
    The funny thing is, I graduated from HS with Holtman :)
     
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #3
    I saw this story last night on the news. What a gracious and sportsman like act by both Holtman and Wallace. Class acts all the way around.
     
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #4
    good job ladies.

    The sad thing is, there's not enough stories like this going around.

    Big corporate dollars, full ride scholarships and insane player contracts have turned sport into big business...which also means fair play goes out the window (usually).

    nice story..thanks for posting.
     
  5. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #5
    What a great story. The spirit of athletics is alive and well, we just don't always hear about it. Good job to the original reporter who picked this story up and ran with it, too. The media often gets a bad rap for the stories they choose, but it's the public who ultimately makes it a "top story," for better or worse. I'm happy to say the public got it right on this one!
     
  6. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

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    I agree that there is no way that men would have done this. It's a totally different mindset. This would make an interesting debate, though: Was this the right thing to do? Something that prevents you from running the bases may come up in a game...it's part of the game. If you can't run them and/or need someone to run them for you....you must face the consequences. Yes, getting hurt sucks...but it is a very rare thing that happens. A core rule of all sports is that you are not supposed to do anything that helps the opposing team.

    This action by those two girls was certainly touching and commendable. However, I don't think they did the right thing. It's one thing to stop and help someone who needs aid. But that wasn't the case here. For comparison sake, take this other example: A soccer player about to kick the ball sprains his ankle in front of the goal. The goalie then comes out of the goal and picks up the player and holds him up on his shoulders so that the injured (opposing) player could kick the ball into his goal and score. Would that happen? Does that sound like the right thing to do? Essentially, that's what did happen in this softball case....
     
  7. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #7
    That's not the same thing. The rules of soccer and softball are completely different: she had already hit the home run; all she needed to do was make the symbolic trot around the bases. It's as if soccer had a rule that you had to run a lap around the field after scoring a goal. Circling the bases after a home run is just a formality; it's not where the skill lies.
     
  8. sowillo14 macrumors regular

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    #8
    That is awesome. Got me all warm and fuzzy inside. Kinda makes me want to watch "Rudy."
     
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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  10. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #10
    Why debate it? Guess what; this isn't real life, it's only a game. You may as well debate whether or not I should have let my little niece skip the 'Go to Jail' space when we played Monopoly the other day.
     
  11. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    #11


    Oh but than that raises all kinds of Philosophical questions on what life is and what a game is. How is life different than a game?
    For that matter, what is the point of a game?
    To have fun, right? What makes it fun? Depends on the goal, and the individual.
    Perhaps I find fun in playing people of equal skill level, and testing my skills vs theirs. Perhaps I find fun in being pushed to my limit. That is why athletes advance to the next level, right?

    Now, I'm not opposed to what Holtman did, she is a great girl and I think her team stood behind her on it. However, in a team sport, it is not a black and white line between being a detriment to your own team, and being a good sport. If games like baseball had nothing to do with a score, and their were no winners, than we wouldn't have them. But scores and winners (or, better teams in the moment) are what people play for, and what people watch for. Like how we love watching an underdog come from behind to win.

    Now, I think what wordmunger said is right, the rules are different, and touching the bases is a formality, not a point of contested skill.

    Of course, let's say the fastest 2 mile olympic runner comes along with a time 5 minutes faster than every other olympic player(yeah, damn fast ;) ), but the day after prelims breaks his leg. What kind of medal does he get?
     
  12. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    #12
    To add:
    I think what makes this a "Good thing" is that both teams thought it was a good thing. If one or both sides felt like one team was getting an unfair advantage, and that it "ruined the game" than I don't think it would be a fair move.

    No one (honorable) wants to win praise and glory if they didn't earn it, and no one wants to feel that praise and glory was stolen from them by their own team mate. Neither happened here though, so I think it's golden :)
     
  13. iRachel macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I saw this story yesterday, very classy thing for the ladies to do.
     
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040

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    Class.

    I'd like to point out in response to some posts above, that similar things happen in football all the time.

    If a player is injured, but the ball is in play, it's the done thing to kick the ball out of play, to allow a stoppage to treat the injury. Even if the player is on the opposing team. There's no rule that says this should be done, it's just the custom. Even if it's the final of the championships. I'm not really a football guy, but I've seen the same in UK, France, Italy (world's most competitive football league).

    When play restarts, the ball goes to the other side, who usually then tries not to take to take advantage, often by giving ball possession straight back to the opposing side.

    I remember there was a story a couple of years ago about one player who took advantage of this to score a goal while the opposition were off their guard, expecting the ball to be given back to them. The goal stood as it was within the rules, but there was a huge outcry over it and much criticism of the player.
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15
    I was just about to mention this.
     
  16. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #16
    Don't they do something like that in cycling as well? When someone in the hunt for the yellow jersey crashes, the custom is for everyone to pull over and wait...or am I completely out of my mind here?
     
  17. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

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    dmr727: You might be thinking that on the last stage of the Tour de France (that runs through Paris), it's customary to allow the yellow jersey to retain the lead.
     
  18. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #18
    Sort of. The Tour de France peloton will allow someone to go ahead (usually a highly dangerous move) and take the lead for a short while to get the chance to stop for a couple of minutes and meet up with family members / girlfriend / wife / kids.

    It's also considered extremely bad form to attack while the leaders are on a piss break.

    Crashes / flat tyres are considered fair game, and the peloton won't usually wait.
     
  19. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

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    #19
    There have been a few instances where this unwritten rule has been broken, probably the highest profile one in recent years being an FA Cup tie about ten years ago where Arsenal beat Sheffield United 2-1.

    There was an incident during the game where the ball was put out of play by United so one of their injured players could receive treatment. When the game restarted with an Arsenal throw in – rather than returning the ball to the opposition 'keeper as per the custom – it resulted in a goal, which stood as no actual 'rule' had been broken. Arsenal claimed that this was the result of a genuine misunderstanding, rather than an attempt to claim an unfair advantage over their unprepared opponents.

    What actually happened afterwards was Arsenal offered to replay the fixture, given that they'd won the match through a goal that shouldn't really have been scored in the first place. A nice display of sportsmanship, but they won the rearranged fixture in any case. :p
     
  20. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #20
    So nice to read a story of not good but great sportsmanship, does not happen enough is todays games.

    and sometimes even those thought of as bad sportsman show their true colours.

    Paolo Di Canio


    Remember that game so well, Steve Bruce going crazy and Arsen Wenger acting all "I didn't see it"

    maybe what Arsenal should have done
     
  21. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #21
  22. Borjan macrumors regular

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    #22
    I find this to be quite an insulting statement. The Dicanio mention above already instantly negates this of course, as he could have quite easily capitalised on the injury to the keeper to make sure that his own side scored, but didn't.

    I'm sure if research was done, many other examples would be found too.
     
  23. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #23
    This is where I have a huge issue. The opposing players carrying her around the bases is fine by me, but to only credit her with a single if she can't complete the run because of injury? When Gabe Kapler ruptured his Achillies' Tendon while running out Graffanino's homer, there were no repurcussions when a pinch-runner came in. Running the bases is mostly a formality ,provided you touch them all, and in the right order. That rule needs changing.
     
  24. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #24
    NCAA rules allow a replacement runner to run the bases if a player gets injured.
     
  25. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

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    #25
    MacNut: That's true, but under NCAA rules, if the batter who hit the home run cannot complete the run around the bases, she does not get officially credited with the home run.
     

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