“'Excuse me,' Mallory interrupted, 'would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?'”

—Mallory Holtman

Though Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky often dreamed of what it would be like to hit her first home run, she never imagined it would end with the opposing team carrying her around the bases. In fact, her home run almost didn’t become a reality, except for the sportsmanship of Central Washington players Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace.

Sara’s home run came in the second inning of the second game of a double header between the two teams. At stake that weekend was a bid to the NCAA's Division II playoffs. Central Washington needed to win the second game to keep its postseason dreams alive.

When Sara hit her long-awaited home run, players on second and third both ran home, whooping in celebration. Sara, in her excitement, over-ran first base. But when she turned quickly to go back, her right knee gave out. Sara went down in agony just a few feet from first base.

Sara was clearly injured and unable to walk on her own. Her coaches and teammates debated what to do. If Western Oregon trainers, coaches or players helped her up, she would be out. If they substituted a pinch-runner, her home run would be counted as a two-run single. Either way, Sara would lose the only home run of her career.

Central Washington player Mallory Holtman was also a senior—and her school’s career leader in home runs. After four years, she knew the rules of the game and quickly realized there was just one way for Sara’s home run to count.

“Excuse me,” Mallory interrupted the debating umpires and coaches. “Would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?”

The surprised officials agreed. Mallory and teammate Liz Wallace promptly picked Sara up, gingerly letting her left foot down to touch each of the bases to get her home run.

This act of sportsmanship contributed to Central’s loss. Still, there were no regrets or angry words from Mallory’s teammates. They all agreed—helping the opponent was simply the right thing to do. And the crowd—which had heckled Sara for her diminutive size when she stepped up to bat—agreed, too. When the threesome arrived at home plate, they were greeted with a standing ovation, creating a memory no one at that day’s game will ever forget.

Sportsmanship. Pass It On!

This billboard about Sportsmanship features Sara Tucholsky, Mallory Holtman, Liz Wallace.

Pass It On®

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Your Comments
Anonymous  MARCH 13, 2018
That made my heart happy.!!!

Anonymous MARCH 6, 2018
This is amazing!! So inspirational of these girls, God bless you!

Anonymous MARCH 5, 2018
be nice to all people

??? from ??? FEBRUARY 27, 2018
Be nice to all people

Kaydin Quales from Bristol Tn JANUARY 9, 2018
I love this it made me cry it is so sweet

Maria from Narnia JUNE 2, 2017
Amazing. Just plain out amazing,

Alina from Washington  MAY 9, 2017
when did this happen? I'm working on a school project for this.

Luna from <3 MAY 4, 2017
This is so inspiring!!!

Anonymous MARCH 8, 2017
SO AMAZING!! I wish people at my school had THAT kind of sportsmanship! :)

Alexandar Hamelton JANUARY 30, 2017
that is sooo touching!

David from Phenix City NOVEMBER 24, 2016
We need more of these value signs in the south eastern region, Alabama, Georgia. I love the feeling of compassion these signs give me.

lydia from wayne trial OCTOBER 18, 2016
this is my insperation

Lisa from Georgia AUGUST 8, 2016

Nate from Wesley Chapel, FL APRIL 26, 2016
Good job!!

Anonymous APRIL 8, 2016
That is amazing

MaCaiden from Pratt  MARCH 30, 2016
I am happy that they weren't a bad sportsmanship and help the injured player and the other team won the game.

Anonymous MARCH 1, 2016
Omg so inspirational

Madison from Laffayette, IN DECEMBER 16, 2015
I've heard of this girl! This was amazing of her opponents!

Anonymous NOVEMBER 26, 2015
amazing inspiring I loved it

chad from almonte ontario NOVEMBER 25, 2015
very nice of her to do that

ashley NOVEMBER 23, 2015
this is so inspiring

felicia from toledo SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
i love this billboard

m and ms AUGUST 27, 2015
great story.

NULL from NULL JULY 14, 2015
Doesn't this give all of us hope and inspiration to do for other. "Imagine"

kamal from erode APRIL 16, 2014
it was amazing. help is best in this world....

mike lynch from bayonne,nj MARCH 27, 2014
Outstanding act of goodwill in the best interest of the game. Mike,Umpire

Destiny from Arkansas MARCH 9, 2014
This is like seeing the light it is so inspirational it makes you think about the quote by Mary Dunbar "We are each gifted in a unique and important way.It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light and those two players from the opposing they truly are full of light

Emma from Home FEBRUARY 9, 2014
This is inspiring! I wish I could do something like that.

Bryce from ND AUGUST 28, 2013
Thats pretty cool

Donna A from Harrisburg PA APRIL 22, 2013
I'm going through my digital photos after my first trip to New York City. I took a picture of the street sign, Father Duffy Square and a billboard of this story is in my photo. I immediately did an internet search to find out what the billboard is about. It brought a tear to my eyes because I injured my rotator cuff playing softball, the sport that I love, and to see this sportsmanship took my breath away. Go teams! I know you will be rewarded for your great deed.

Ally from Tahiti MARCH 18, 2013
I really loved this story, it makes me want to do good in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ally from Tahiti MARCH 18, 2013
How inspiring :)

paul pueblas from philippines MARCH 18, 2012
that was the true lover of the game.

Sarah G from Albany, New York FEBRUARY 12, 2012
that is an incredible story!those girls really know what sportsmanship is.

emma from ontario,canada OCTOBER 11, 2011
i love these billboards

Karunakar Koyyada from Hyderabad JUNE 13, 2011
Life is not about settling scores,not beating one another in the game of life but it's truly about helping one another in the times of pain.This story is a perfect example to it.

Jordan Caldwell from Adrian, Michigan  MAY 3, 2011
This was a amazing story, keep up the good work! (:

Jim from Tennessee MARCH 26, 2011
What good people do!!! It's how you play the game of life that counts. Great sportsmanship.

Mark B. from Chagrin Falls, OH MARCH 12, 2011
Wonderful!!! I think it would be cool to see these billboards all over Washington DC. Maybe some of the partisans that are keeping our government from tackling the problems we ALL face would be inspired... One can hope. :)

Kimberly from Des Monies,IA FEBRUARY 14, 2011
I think they had a lot of courage to help her to win. I also think that it was sad that she had stop her career because she hurt her leg.

Lee from Alexandria, VA  FEBRUARY 2, 2011
You shouldn't miss John McCutcheon's wonderful and moving song about this incident.

noah from owosso JANUARY 31, 2011
Thats really cool.

Usha V from Wellington, FL JANUARY 15, 2011
This one is my favorite since I spend so much time at my son's sporting event. It is my wish that he will maintain excellent sportsman throughout his life.

Frosty N from Alabama DECEMBER 11, 2010
That is so sweet of them to do that.

mt from tx NOVEMBER 2, 2010
Very nice and that is true and amazing sportsmanship.

Ken B from Central Washington University OCTOBER 27, 2010
The fast-pitch coach--Gary Frederick--helped to develop the character that those two players exhibited. He just retired recently and Mallory Holtman is the new coach.

Tripper E from Blythewood Middle School OCTOBER 7, 2010
This was one of the best sports stories I've ever heard.

ashlyn L. from california OCTOBER 1, 2010
I really like this because I'm a softball player and this would mean a lot to me.

fdsfsf from new jersey SEPTEMBER 1, 2010
Ohhhh goodness, what sweethearts.

Kelly, F from Chicago JULY 29, 2010
This is a story of true team spirit and teamwork; you are an inspiration.

Terry I. from Utah JUNE 9, 2010
Great story of real players who help each other and not worry about "winning", they won in their hearts and all who know them.

Meghan C from Minneapolis, MN JUNE 1, 2010
Great story, and amazing teamwork! Y'all are amazing to do that for the opposing team.

Corey M from Florida JUNE 1, 2010
When I first heard about this, it made me realize that if any girl player got hurt during one of my games I'd help no matter what.

Pooh H. from USA MAY 17, 2010
Good sportsmanship.

Courtney Johannes from Carlisle, Iowa MAY 12, 2010
This is so cool. You guys are awesome for doing this for her and, by the way, nice hit!

Michael R. from GILROY, CA MAY 8, 2010
Amazing and wonderful. I still have tears from reading this. A class act by two wonderful young ladies. We salute you here in the south bay Gilroy, CA.

Carlos G. from USA MARCH 29, 2010
I find this story amazing because they helped her even though it would cause them to lose the game!

Bella A. from USA MARCH 23, 2010
Wow. I started crying, a most touching story. I wish I could have the courage to do things like that I would be one of the girls in the background watching because I am to scared to help others when I am competing against them. I think I'm inspired. Thank you girls.

Joshua V from Adrian MARCH 23, 2010
This is great

Josh, V from Adrian MARCH 22, 2010
This is good

Kaity, U from Las Vegas, Nevada FEBRUARY 18, 2010
I absolutely love these billboards, they are so inspiring. I especially love the one on sportsmanship. As a softball player myself, I can relate to how much each team had at stake and it gives me chills to think of all that those girls sacrificed.

Larry B. from Nebraska City, NE FEBRUARY 18, 2010
As a coach and official, I saw the billboard in Kansas City. It took me several months to remember the site and to look it up. Great sportsmanship ladies. I try and teach sportsmanship first, give me 110 percent and do the best you can, but above all have fun. You three can play for me anytime. THANKS

John M. from Huntsville,Texas JANUARY 24, 2010
I am 58 years old. After reading this I cried and thanked God. These young women will be taking over where we left off.

Tiffany S. from Indianapolis, Indiana JANUARY 11, 2010
That's amazing what Mallory and her teammate did for Sara. Those two girls are amazing.

Renee L. from Alabama DECEMBER 9, 2009
This is a wonderful story

Mike T. from Forest Grove, Oregon DECEMBER 5, 2009
Shelly, I can ask Sara to send you one if you wish. You can e-mail me at Please note poster in subject line. Sara's dad.

Shelley O from Peoria NOVEMBER 20, 2009
I want to purchase a poster of this photo. Does anyone know where I can order it from?

Kelly, F from Michigan NOVEMBER 11, 2009
That is a true winner.

MacKenzie D. from IN OCTOBER 20, 2009
This is such a heart warming story

Elsa J. from Houston, TX OCTOBER 2, 2009
What a testimony. My daughter was so moved by that. She also plays softball and every time we see the billboard she sheds a tear..

Meghan H. from Seattle, WA SEPTEMBER 20, 2009
Our pastor talked about this story in church a few weeks ago..soon after, I passed by the billboard myself as I rode on the bus. It made me teary eyed...these girls made the most of the opportunity given them and everyone was blessed by that. Would that we all can be that way too.

Devin S. from Madison High School Adrian, Michigan SEPTEMBER 17, 2009
This is such a great representation of what true sportsmanship is all about. What a great example for the youth of America.

Lyn Q. from Philippines SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
Really an amazing story...Mallory and Liz are the real winners.

Chris S. from LA JULY 24, 2009
I'm proud of those two girls. Unselfish acts like that are so rarely seen today. Mallory and Liz may Bless you.

Jill C. from Seattle, Wa JULY 9, 2009
I am proud to say that I am Central Washington University alumni. This made me even more proud to be a wildcat! :)

M.C. from Massachusetts JULY 7, 2009
I love all the billboards but this is my favorite, I saw it again today and the story is definitely true sportsmanship and should but told to every child and athlete. there is a spot in my heart for those girls and how much they care!

Chris W. from Mississippi JULY 5, 2009
I saw this story on ESPN and nearly brought me to tears. The sportsmanship shown here is a total antithesis to almost 100% of today's athletes. I wish all the best for the all the girls of the Central Washington team. The girls who showed us true sportsmanship, and how the game should be played.

Kristen H. from Georgia JULY 1, 2009
This is my favorite billboard--I knew that would be the story just from driving by the photo. Let this be a pennant for all of us--this is the way we should win the game.

Diane K. from Lincoln, NE JUNE 25, 2009
What touches me most is the example it shows that we can all make the effort in everyday life with one another. We need to be a nation who reaches out for each other and helps to "round the bases." Bravo to these young women for being bigger than most of us. It sure is going to change how I live my everyday life! Bless them!

Linda C. from Ocoee, FL JUNE 24, 2009
This is a story that needs to be told over and over again to our young people, especially those participating in team sports.

Bill Y. from Little Hocking, OH JUNE 21, 2009
I was very familiar with this story as I am a softball fan. I found this billboard a very fitting tribute to these players who's selflessness led to what may very well be the single greatest act of good sportsmanship.....ever!

James S. from Chandler, IN JUNE 17, 2009
Through one simple action Liz and Mallory proved they will be winners throughout life. In a word CLASS.

CMW from Florida JUNE 16, 2009
I'm so glad this has become a billboard... What a testimony to true sportsmanship!

Cristy D. from NJ JUNE 15, 2009
I'm not a sap but this story makes me tear up every time I read it or even just see the billboard. It is moving.

Cathy T. from Houston JUNE 12, 2009
Brought tears to my eyes.

Ray B. from Lincoln, NE JUNE 8, 2009
Amazing.. I don't think there will ever be an act of sportsmanship of this magnitude. Simply awesome!!

Ray B. from Lincoln, NE JUNE 6, 2009
This story really touched my heart as it has for so very many. I have a friend who played basketball at Central Washington under the same coach. I live in Lincoln, NE and when I saw this billboard today, I just couldn't believe it.... Imagine this billboard being in Lincoln,NE..WOW ! PS : I am an avid Creighton Bluejay softball fan, so you can imagine how this story touched my heart... There will never be another story like this one....

Brad W. from San Francisco, CA MAY 25, 2009
I visited Central Washington a couple of years ago and the people were so friendly! Guess I am not the only one who thought so - what a class act!

Trevor G. from Brookings,OR MAY 20, 2009
That is really cool! I don't know of anybody who would help another player if they were going to lose! That is how all sports should be played with good sportsmanship and hard work! Good job ladies wait to be good sports!

Thomas S. from Brookings, OR MAY 19, 2009
That's an amazing show of sportsmanship! I don't even know if I would do that if I was going to lose. Great job Mallory and Liz!

Claxton Z. from Sparta, MI MAY 18, 2009
This really makes me think that we are all winners.

Jerry L. from Michigan MAY 1, 2009
In the big picture of life, we are all on the same team. Its an act like this that should remind us all of that.

Ann T. from Oregon APRIL 30, 2009
Has anyone seen this up anywhere? :)

Chris T. from North Ogden, Utah APRIL 23, 2009
It is great to see young people still have integrity and values that supersede the worldly attitude of "must win no matter what the cost."

Linda W. from Oregon APRIL 22, 2009
It's really heartening to know that there are still athletes who understand the true meaning of sportsmanship. You rock, ladies!!

Bridgette G. from Indiana APRIL 22, 2009
I worked at McDonald's in high school and in the summer different stores used to play each other in softball. I was so terrible (and yet so enthusiastic) that a manager from the other team helped me swing the bat, the pitcher threw it to me nicely, and two people on the other team "accidentally" dropped the ball. I am many things, "proud" and "coordinated" are not on the list.

John W. from Hayden, Idaho APRIL 22, 2009
Love of the game and each other overcame the love of winning!!

George B. from Quakertown, PA APRIL 22, 2009
Imagine that, the real wins don't show on the scoreboard!

Dale G. from Canada APRIL 21, 2009
Respect for your opponent is respect for the game and respect for yourself. Everyone wins.

Kari S. from Centura, NE APRIL 6, 2009
What an amazing story! As a coach, I can only hope my students would have the same integrity! What an awesome story!

Connor B. from Canada APRIL 3, 2009
This story really hit me hard!

JoAnn G. from California MARCH 30, 2009
I would love to forward this link to my Little League Softball team!

MATT Q. from CANADA MARCH 30, 2009

Steve C. from PA MARCH 29, 2009
Having coached fast pitch women's softball for a number of years, this is not puts a lump in my throat still!

James G. from Canada MARCH 25, 2009
That is such a good story. I love it.

Anonymous MARCH 24, 2009
Totally awesome DUDE!

Jamacia MARCH 24, 2009
What leadership!

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