Fan behind home plate at PNC Park hit in head with foul ball

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A split-second before contact. 

A woman walking to her seat behind home plate at PNC Park was struck in the head with a foul ball in the top of the second inning Monday night. Off the bat of Starlin Castro, the ball hit the protective backstop net and bounced back onto the field, but the woman was close enough on the grandstand side that, when the net gave from the force of the ball, she was struck on the left side of her skull, above and a little to the right of her ear.

The game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirateswas delayed 23 minutes while medical personnel attended to the woman, who was carried out on a stretcher. Reports say she was conscious, and a friend attending the game with her signaled she was OK.

A good sign, certainly. As was this:

There's video of it happening, but some viewers will find it disturbing:

MLB.com also posted this video, for perhaps a clearer view (if you need one).

It looks like the ball just hit her head clean, as if there were no net (or as if the ball broke the net), but it didn't. It's there. Watch for the ball bouncing back. It's probably a good thing her head was turned the way it was. If she had been facing the action, it's doubtful she could have reacted in time, and would have been hit in the face or temple.

The Pirates acknowledged the incident:

It seems obvious the Pirates need to either tighten the net so it won't give as much or convert that part of it into a chain-link fence. It's also been suggested that fans shouldn't walk into aisles or along rows during the action. Not a bad point, but the net is supposed to take care of the area where the woman was hit. It's obviously not foolproof.

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