As Oberer rounded the bases her knee locked, leaving her unable to run any further. Softball rules state that a runner must actually advance around the bases for a run to count, and cannot be helped by members of their own team. So if a coach or player were to have helped Oberer make her way around the bases, she would have been out and the game would continue.
“It locked up as I started going down to first base and then I started hopping on one leg to try to get there,” Oberer said.
So Florida Southern pitcher Chelsea Oglevie, who had just given up a home run on the last pitch of her college career, decided to help Oberer finish what she had started. Along with second baseman Leah Pemberton, the pitcher helped support Oberer, walking her to each base so she could touch them.
“It was just instinct that I would just go and help her,” Pemberton said.
“In the moment it just seemed natural,” Oglevie added. “If somebody’s hurt, you need to help them. And she deserved that home run.”
By the time they got to home plate, the Eckerd College players were waiting, applauding both for their teammate and for the sportsmanlike gesture from their opponents. Oberer was particularly touched.
“It’s such a life-changing experience and I’ll remember those girls probably the rest of my life,” Oberer added.
The story about the Florida Southern softball team’s incredible gesture has gotten plenty of traction as well. It has been picked up by a number of national media outlets, was featured by MLB.com via Twitter, and was one of the hottest topics on ESPN’s SportsNation on Monday.