Championship moment in sportsmanship

SEYMOUR, Wis (WBAY) - It's a moment during a recent high school softball game that anyone in attendance won't soon forget.

Bay Port softball players help Seymour player Sophie Wery round the bases after Sophie injured her ankle on a home-run hit (Photo: Shelley Ehlke)

The girls from Bay Port traveled to take on Seymour, and in doing so delivered a championship moment in sportsmanship.

Seymour sophomore Sophie Wery will always remember what happened last Friday after her bat connected with a softball.

"I hit a homerun, and then I was rounding second on my victory lap, and then I did not see a hole there and I stepped right in it and twisted my ankle," recalls Wery.

And down in pain she went.

"I tried to put pressure on it and I couldn't. I was really scared my season was over," says Wery.

Because softball rules prohibit a player's coach or teammates from touching them until the reach home base, Wery was stranded.

But not for long.

"I can honestly say I've never seen a moment like that," says Seymour softball coach Karri Vandenlangenberg.

"I was like, 'Go help her out,' and immediately Maddy ran across the field and Kyleigh picked her up. It was a very proud coach moment," says Bay Port coach Amber Francour, who asked her players to help Wery.

To save her from forfeiting her homer, Bay Port juniors Maddy Ehlke and Kyleigh Schuette carried Wery on her journey home.

"Every time we got to a base we kind of would like tip her a little bit and make sure one of her toes got on the base," says Schuette with a smile.

"She was kind of like laughing the whole time. She's like, 'Sorry guys.' We're like, 'We're good,'" says Ehlke.

After the three girls reached home plate, the moment touched everyone involved.

"And I said thank you, and then my teammates carried me to the dugout when I got attention for my ankle," says Wery.

"I actually went across the diamond and shook the coach's hand and just let her know that she had a real class act team, because that speaks volumes when a team like that just ups and does it," says Vandenlangenberg.

"One of my biggest things that I want to instill in these girls is being young athletes and young people," says Francour.

In a 2-run Seymour victory, Wery's homer loomed large.

But on this day the box score was secondary.

"Ever since I was young I've been taught sportsmanship is key to a great player, and just putting that into play now, it's really showing how much I've grown as a player and it was really rewarding to have that feeling," says Schuette.

"I was really grateful and surprised that they would be so kind to do that," adds Wery.

"I feel really good, I feel proud of myself, I'm also really happy I could help her out, sportsmanship is definitely a first over winning," says Ehlke.

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