CHRIS A. ROCK, NAVARRE, FLA.
Mallory scans the field for potential accomplices. "Liz," she says, locking eyes with the shortstop, Liz Wallace, a Navy wife from Montana who can turn a double play with unusual speed and grace.
Liz puts down her glove. Yes, that's the right thing to do, she thinks, walking with Mallory toward Sara. She can see tears on Sara's cheeks, powdered limestone on her right hand.
"We're going to pick you up," Mallory says, "and carry you around the bases."
Sara nods. "Thank you," she says, overwhelmed with relief. Mallory bends down and puts her left hand under Sara's left thigh and her right hand under Sara's left armpit. Liz does likewise on Sara's other side. They lift her off the ground.
Behind the chain-link backstop, Sue Wallin presses RECORD on her Handycam. Four days later she will hustle to her hometown post office just before it closes and drop the 8mm tape in the mail to her daughter in Ellensburg, and it will arrive just in time to be shown to visiting reporters, and it will be seen on national TV and played nearly 200,000 times on YouTube.
Mallory and Liz haul Sara toward second base, moving with awkward sideways steps. They must travel 180 feet. Don't trip, Mallory tells herself.
"Thank you, guys," Sara says again. At 125 pounds, she does not feel heavy.
"You hit it over the fence," Mallory says. "You deserve it."
Mallory lowers Sara's left foot to touch second base. "This has to look hilarious to everybody who's watching," Liz says.