Baseball fan hurt after being struck by foul ball at Rays game

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The Case for Protective Netting at Baseball Games

April 15 (Reuters) - A fan was taken to hospital after being struck in the head by a foul ball during the Tampa Bay Rays' game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field in Florida on Friday.

The game was held up for several minutes as the woman was carried out of the ballpark on a stretcher and taken to Bayfront Health medical center in St. Petersburg for treatment.

Steven Souza Jr's foul ball came through a narrow gap in protective netting before striking the woman left of the Rays' first-base dugout.

Souza climbed into the stands to check on her and said it had been hard to re-focus after seeing the extent of her injury.

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Fan struck by ball through netting at Tampa Bay Rays game
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Baseball fan hurt after being struck by foul ball at Rays game
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 15: Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays comes into the stands to check on the status of a fan that was injured by a foul ball that was tipped by Souza while at bat during the seventh inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 15, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 15: Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays comes into the stands to check on the status of a fan that was injured by a foul ball that was tipped by Souza while at bat during the seventh inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 15, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 15: A fan is removed from the stands on a backboard by medics after being hit with a foul ball tipped by Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 15, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 15: A fan is wheeled through the field on a stretcher by medics after being hit in the stands with a foul ball tipped by Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 15, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Medical personnel carry a fan from the stands by stretcher after she was hit a foul ball from Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Steven Souza Jr. during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, April 15, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Steve Souza Jr., center, looks on as medical personnel help a fan in the stands who was hit by his foul ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, April 15, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr. walks in the dugout after visiting a fan in the stands after she was hit by his foul ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, April 15, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
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"That women's health is way more important than my results in the game," Souza told reporters after the 1-0 win.

"She was beat up pretty good. It looked like it caught her right in the eye, which wasn't a good sight. It's just so unfortunate."

The incident comes after Major League Baseball recommended late last year that all 30 clubs provide netting or other protection for fans from dugout to dugout as a safety precaution from foul line drives.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said: "You feel for the lady and her family.

"The last thing you want to do is come to a ballgame as a player, as a coach or as a fan and see anybody get hurt."

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