DES MOINES, Iowa -- Urbandale's Olivia Lacona went from enjoying a beautiful evening at the ballpark to being on the ground and in pain. On Sunday July 2, as the Iowa Cubs took on Round Rock, a line drive foul ball was sent screaming into her forehead. "It was just all of a sudden. Just a random thing pounded me I guess," she recalled.
Her family, along with other attendees, even players on the field can be seen fearing the worst and she was rushed to a local hospital, "There was a minor bleed in my brain," said Olivia.
As the swelling subsides and wounds from the baseball begin to heal, Olivia believes she was lucky to end up with a severe concussion. "Even if it hit my nose or teeth, it could have been surgery. Yeah, I feel very blessed."
Shelby Cravens, the I-Cubs Media Relations Manager says incidents like this are not uncommon and medics are always on standby. "On really busy nights like the night we are talking about, we had four here," said Cravens.
Before the 2016 season the I-cubs were one of the first minor league teams to voluntarily add extra netting along the first and third base lines. The netting is now mandatory. "The nets are huge. The nets have protected a lot of people. We see a lot of bats and balls go up that way," said Cravens.
Olivia, who says she never lost consciousness, was just outside of that extended netting. "It is your own risk going to a live baseball game obviously," said Olivia.
Now the same players she was cheering for, are reciprocating the favor. "They signed a bat for me and they gave me the ball and a signed Kyle Schwarber batting lineup sheet," said Olivia.
Despite an injury that may give any baseball lover second thoughts, Olivia still screams take me out to the ball game. "I'll go back any time. I'll have to watch the game this time."
In the days following the injury, Olivia's luck turned for the better and won $500 on a scratch off game. She says the money makes up for the three days she had to go without working while recovering from the foul ball.