Amber Freeman hit the second of her two home runs in Team USA's 10-3 win over Puerto Rico on Sunday in the World Cup of Softball at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
But as she rounded first base, she slipped and came up limping with an injured ankle. She slowly hopped to second base and stood on the bag trying to collect herself.
As she began to slowly walk the rest of the 120 feet to home plate, Puerto Rico's Dayanira Diaz and Galis Lozada jogged over to Freeman and flanked her left and right side to walk her the rest of the way home.
The crowd instantly stood to its feet, and gave a rousing round of applause to Freeman and Lozada and Diaz.
“We only wanted to help her,” Aleimalee Lopez translated. “Because it's a home run and she deserved it. They said that they hope that if something like that would have happened to us, they would have done the same thing in return.
“It's a sport; you just have to respect every athlete for what they do.”
Freeman's first home run gave Team USA its first lead of the game, after she sent a shot over the left center field fence. Her two-run homer would bring in Michelle Moultrie, who came in to pinch run for Nicole Hudson.
In the bottom of the third inning, Rhea Taylor hit a single down the left field line to jump start Team USA”s hitting.
After a wild throw over the first baseman's head, Taylor ran for second base, and continued her sprint to third when she realized the first baseman still didn't have possession of the ball.
Lauren Chamberlain followed with the first of three straight doubles. Taylor scored on the play, after Chamberlain dropped the ball in the right field gap.
Kourtney Salvarola then followed suit with an RBI double of her that she into right field. Chamberlain charged home, and Team USA now only had a one-score deficit in the bottom of the third. Taylor Hoagland hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Salvarola to second.
Working with a one-two count, Hudson hit the team's final RBI double, which brought in the tying score.
Tulsa University's Aimee Creger exited the game early for the second consecutive contest. California's Valerie Arioto stepped into the circle for the first time this tournament.
She only allowed one hit and walk in her 3 2/3 innings, while striking out five. The former Cal Golden Bear forced Puerto Rico into multiple groundouts, pop ups and foul balls in the five-inning game.
In the top of the fifth, she was able to get her glove up and catch a ball sent directly at her. After collecting it, she then threw it to first for the double play.
Team USA will face Japan in a rematch of Saturday's in the World Cup of Softball Championship. The game was moved up to 6:30 p.m.