Fan at Rays game struck by foul ball that went through protective netting

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 9:24 AM

PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A fan struck by a foul ball left on a stretcher in the seventh inning of the Chicago White Sox'south 1-0 win over the  Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

Fan at Rays game struck by foul ball that went through protective netting

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A fan struck by a foul ball left on a stretcher in the seventh inning of the Chicago White Sox'south 1-0 win over the  Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

The fan was sitting in the lower box seats on the residence plate side following to Tampa Bay'south first-base side dugout. Rays designated hitter Steven Souza Jr., who fouled off the ball that struck the fan, went into the stands to check on her.

The game was delayed about twelve minutes so the injured fan could be removed on a stretcher that was brought out close the on-deck circle.

"It looked love it caught her right in the eye, which wasn't a excellent sight," Souza said. "I'll be praying for her. Hoping that she'south OK. She was able to speak to me, declare a few things. Never a excellent sight to see."

After an in-depth study latest year, when several fans were damage by broken bats and foul balls, Major League Baseball recommended the extension of ballpark safety netting to the ends of both dugouts and anywhere within seventy feet of home plate.

The ball Friday night went through a gap between the netting that was about the size of 1½ baseballs behind an area designated for photographers.

The primary home-plate area screen to defend fans at Tropicana Field ends at the start of the photo area. A second screen was installed this season, behind the photo area. Souza'south foul ball got through a narrow opening. 

"Totally unfortunate," Souza said. "People are more necessary than that game right there. That woman'south health is way more important."

Souza said he's hoping to visit the woman, who was being evaluated at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. Number other details about her injuries were immediately available. 

"That'south tough," said White Sox left-hander Chris Sale, who threw a two-hitter for Chicago. "Major League Baseball is trying to do what they can to defend fans, but that'south just a tough situation. I nearly felt that when it happened. You perceive so horrible for the individual and her family and just hope for the best."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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