PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — A fan watching the Pirates game Monday night in the stands of PNC Park was injured when she was struck in the head by a foul ball.

It happened during the second inning.

The woman was standing in the first row behind home plate with her back toward the field when the Chicago Cubs’ Starlin Castro fouled a ball straight back against the protective screen. The ball was hit with such force that it struck the fan in the back of the head.

“It hit the net, but it went through the net with such speed, so it hit the lady in the back of the head,” said Sean Truver, a witness. “I don’t know what she was doing; she was right behind the net and she fell down.”

There’s no word yet on her condition, but Pirates’ officials say the was alert and conscious when was was taken away by ambulance.

“There was a woman who walked to her seats evidently, her head was very close to the net and when the foul ball hit, the net, it just went right into her head and she dropped immediately,” said Kathy Donatelli, another witness. “The great thing here is that the medics were there almost right away.”

The game was delayed for 23 minutes while the fan was tended to in the stands and taken away on a stretcher.

The Pirates have issued this statement:
“During the top of the second inning, a female fan was struck in the head with a foul ball. After initial treatment by PNC Park and Pittsburgh EMS personnel, she was placed on a stretcher, moved to a nearby ambulance and brought to the hospital for further treatment. She was conscious and alert at the time of transport, graciously thanking her caregivers while giving a “thumbs up” gesture to nearby fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with her. We will share additional information as it becomes available.”

She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

UPDATE: According to the Pirates, the woman has since been released from the hospital.

This morning, the Pirates issued the following statement:

“The female fan who was struck by a foul ball during last night’s game was sent via ambulance to the hospital for the appropriate examinations. Thankfully, the fan was released from the hospital following those examinations.

We are extremely grateful for this positive outcome. The organization is in the process of reaching out to her to show our support. Due to privacy laws, we will not reveal the name of the fan, nor additional details at this time.

We wish to thank the PNC Park personnel and fellow fans who were on the scene at the time, as well as the Pittsburgh EMS for their quick response.”

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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David Highfield