Eckerd College had two outs and players on first and second when softball player Kara Oberer stepped up to bat. It was the second game in a doubleheader against Florida Southern, and Eckerd College was trailing 2-1. The stakes were high. This game would determine whether or not Eckerd College won the season for the first time since the program began 30 years ago.
Oberer made history for Eckerd College, hitting a three-base homer that would clear the left field fence and win her school both the game, at 4-2, and the season, at 27-25. The only problem? Oberer blew out her right knee as soon as she began to run. She managed to hop to first base, but the pain was too intense to continue. She began to tear up. And then an incredible thing happened. Two unlikely players came to her rescue: her opponents from Florida Southern. Pitcher Chelsea Oglevie and second baseman Leah Pemberton picked up Oberer and carried her all the way home, gently lowering her so that she could touch each base.
At NIVEA, we believe that this kind of softness and selflessness is worth celebrating. It’s moments like these that teach us all the power of generosity and the true meaning of sportsmanship. Eckerd College might have won that day, but it was Florida Southern that showed the world what a champion looks like.
Oglevie moved first to Oberer’s side—despite the fact that, as a senior, it was the last game of her career. In fact, this would be Oglevie’s final pitch. Pemberton soon followed, throwing off her glove to help lift the opposing team member. Their act of kindness was particularly moving because they allowed Oberer not only to earn her team points but also to give her a well-earned victory lap around the bases.
Oberer is the kind of player who cares deeply about giving the game her all. As the team’s power hitter, Oberer had begged her coach, Josh Beauregard, to let her play despite a season filled with hardships—a hand injury, a shoulder problem, a hit to the face by a foul ball—and locking up her knee earlier during the first game of the day. She decided to go back in to hit the ball and planned to simply walk to first base if the need arose. And when it did, Oberer hit the ball as far as she could, sending it flying about 240 feet to left field. Unfortunately, her injury proved to be far more serious than she or Beauregard had realized, making it impossible for her to even walk to first base as initially planned.
Ultimately, it was compassion that won the day. Here at NIVEA, we believe that what will be celebrated years from now isn’t Eckerd College’s victory—rather, the softness Oglevie and Pemberton showed in helping Oberer earn that epic win for her team.