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If you look in www.dictionary.com under ‘sportsmanship’, I suspect that they have uploaded a new definition and it is this gesture by the Central Washington University software team. It is a remarkable ‘embrace’ of ‘failure’ in more than one way: ‘CWU players carry WOU player around bases after knee injury following HR.’

“ With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.

But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury. She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single. Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count — an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.

“Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, said, ‘You deserve it, you hit it over the fence,’ and we all kind of just laughed.” As the trio reached home plate, Tucholsky said, the entire Western Oregon team was in tears. Central Washington coach Gary Frederick, a 14-year coaching veteran, called the act of sportsmanship “unbelievable.”

Her home run sent Western Oregon to a 4-2 victory, ending Central Washington’s chances of winning the conference and advancing to the playoffs.”

Sometimes the ‘game’ is bigger than what appears directly in front you and taking a loss means a bigger victory.

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