Texas softball pitcher Miranda Elish was taken to a hospital on Friday during her team’s NCAA super regional game against Alabama after taking a throw directly to the face. The injury occurred in the second inning when Longhorns catcher Mary Iakopo fielded what she thought was a live bunt and tried to turn the double play with a throw to second. The throw unfortunately did not reach its target, instead hitting the unsuspecting pitcher—who, unlike her teammate, had heard the umpire call the bunt dead—right in the face.
(There’s nothing really graphic about the clip, but the sound of the softball ricocheting off of Elish’s face does sound pretty similar to the sound of the ball bouncing off the bat.)
Medical staff had to help Elish off the field after she remained down for quite some time. She was later seen getting placed into an ambulance on a stretcher.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Miranda Elish,” White said. “She took that shot to the face, she’s going to be ok, we just have to run some more tests and see what happens from there but she was in good spirits and sent us a message straight away about the game. Obviously, nobody feels worse than Mary Iakopo but those things happen, it was a total accident and she came out and did it for her team.”
Texas was able to rally from a 4-0 deficit to win 7-5, and force a decisive Game 3 in the series thanks in no small part to Iakopo, who got things going with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third and later drove in two more runs. Iakopo later told reporters that she “was thinking about Miranda the whole time,” and that the team had used her injury as the fuel to fire up the Longhorns’ comeback.