Dazed, Confused, and Bruised


Walsh in the hospital after getting hit in the face with a softball. (Courtesy of Q. Walsh)

Alex Landman

After an eight hour car ride to softball nationals in Ohio, freshman Quinn Walsh wanted nothing more than to step onto the field.  She put on her eye black, straightened her bow, double knotted her cleats, and it was game time.  However, the day did not go as she thought.

During pregame warmups, an exhausted Walsh and one of her teammates were playing catch.  Walsh’s partner then missed the ball and prepared to throw it from where she picked it up.

That is all Walsh remembers.

It ends up, the ball looked like it was going to bounce, so Walsh moved her glove to where she thought she would catch it.

In a way, she did catch it.  Just not with her glove.

“The ball hit a bump on the ground and came up towards me before I could react,” said Walsh.  “I wasn’t wearing my facemask.”

Walsh caught the ball, with her face, and immediately fell to the ground.

Not knowing whether she was seriously hurt or just shaken up, all of her coaches ran to Walsh to make sure she was okay.

“They all just sat there and tried to calm me down,” said Walsh.  “But my mom finally said it was too bad to not go to the hospital.”

Walsh's face a few days after her injury. Her face would look like this for the next month. (Courtesy of Q. Walsh)
Walsh’s face a few days after her injury. Her face would look like this for the next month. (Courtesy of Q. Walsh)

With an already purple eye and confusion, Walsh was taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with not only a concussion, but she also fractured her maxillary sinus bone.  Her eye swelled profusely while in the hospital, so much so that she could not see out of it.

“Whenever I would sit up, all the blood would rush to my face, so that was painful,” said Walsh.  “But then when I would lay down, it would rush to the back of my head.  It was a lose-lose situation.”

For the following weeks after her injury, Walsh’s face appeared badly bruised and her activity was limited.  She obviously could not finish the nationals tournament or even try out for the next season.

When fall season rolled around, three months after the incident, Walsh was ecstatic to be playing again.

“Now, I always wear a face mask, no matter whether I’m playing catch or fielding,” said Walsh.  “It’s not worth the risk.”