Foul ball leaves girl with fractures to skull, nose

Friday, August 29, 2014
VIDEO: Foul ball leaves girl with fractures to skull, nose
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Her family wants to see better measures to protect fans.

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (WPVI) -- A New Jersey family wants to see better measures to protect fans at the ballpark after their own scare.

Alexis tells us, "I just remember seeing a white blur like a foot away from my face and then it hit me."

10-year-old Alexis Pavlinec of Jackson is nursing a concussion and broken bones in her nose and skull after a baseball at a BlueClaws game at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood last Sunday slammed into her so hard her brain was exposed to air.

It happened while the family was snacking at a table in the concession area off first base.

"I saw her grab her face, go down to the ground," said Claire, Alexis' mom.

The ball hit her face at such a velocity that the stitching left a burn across her nose. You could see the stitching across her nose.

Claire says, "In the ambulance they say to me, 'Oh this happened several times in the last couple weeks here. We're terrified, terrified.' And the nurse at the hospital says to us, 'When is someone going to do something about this? I see so many children with injuries from that ballpark.'"

The Pavlinecs decided they would try to do something and started a Facebook page about fan safety, calling for increased netting at the park to stop the ball. Others who've been injured by stray balls are posting their stories there.

Ken Pavlinec, Alexis' father, says, "There was actually another child hit the same day in the back of the head, which we found out on Facebook, we did not know. So obviously it's becoming a common occurrence and they need to increase the netting. It's as simple as that."

The BlueClaws won't release the number of people who've been hit by balls, but say fan safety is of the utmost importance.

There are signs warning of the danger posted at the park and on the back of every ticket.

In a statement the ball team says:

"We are deeply saddened by the injuries suffered and wish Alexis the best in her recovery."

As for expanding the protective netting at the stadium, a spokesman says it's being looked at.

The BlueClaws game was to be the start of a week vacation for the family. Instead Alexis is recovering from her injuries and her parents are trying to prevent this from happening to another child.