The following is a true story that emerged from a championship college women’s softball game between Western Oregon and Central Washington in 2008.

The following is a true story that emerged from a championship college women’s softball game between Western Oregon and Central Washington in 2008.
Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky was small; physically not the kind of player that was capable of generating much power at the plate. In fact, she had never hit a home run in her career. That all changed when Sara stepped into the batter’s box with two runners on base and the score tied 0-0. Sara hit a shot over the center field fence. While circling the bases, Sara missed touching first. When she turned to go back and tag the base her right knee gave out. She had torn her ACL. The two runners who had been on base ahead of her, already had crossed home plate, leaving Sara the only offensive player on the field of play.
As she lay crumpled in the dirt a long way from home plate, Sara’s coach conferred with the umpires. They confirmed that the rules clearly stated that any assistance from another player on her team would result in Sara being called out. The rules allowed for a pinch runner, but that would mean Sara’s one and only homer would be recorded as a single, instead. Her coach had no choice under the rules, but to put someone in for Sara, and have her forfeit the home run. The coach looked to the dugout for pinch runner. That was when she heard someone ask, “’Excuse me, would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?” The words came from the pitcher for Central Washington, who stood to lose the game if Sara’s run was recorded.
The pitcher and shortstop, who until then only knew Sara as an opponent, now lifted her off the ground and supported her weight between them as they began a slow trip around the bases, stopping at each one so Sara’s left foot could touch each base. Accompanied by a standing ovation from the fans, they finally reached home plate and passed the home run hitter into the arms of her own teammates.
Like all sports, softball has rules that are necessary for the integrity of the game. But, now and then we are reminded that the true essence of the game is sportsmanship. When the rules and the spirit of the game collided in this story, a grace filled moment revealed a creative solution.
Jesus reminds us that though the Bible contains rules to provide a level playing field for all, what we sometimes need is that word of grace that brings loving solutions to difficult situations.Grace and Peace