Texas pitcher ‘doing well’ after being hit in face

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Texas pitcher Miranda Elish, who was helped off the field in the second inning of Friday’s NCAA softball super regional game against host Alabama in Tuscaloosa after taking a throw to the face, is “doing well,” according to Texas sports information director Brian Davis.

With a runner on first, Alabama’s Elissa Brown bunted Elish’s pitch off of home plate. Catcher Mary Iakopo grabbed the ball with her bare hand and was already in motion to throw the ball to second base as the umpire called the ball dead and ruled Brown out for her foot being out of the batter’s box. Iakopo’s throw struck Elish in the face from close range, and the pitcher fell to the ground.

Athletic trainers and medical personnel tended to Elish in the pitcher’s circle. She was helped off the field toward the clubhouse to a standing ovation from the Tuscaloosa crowd.

Elish, who transferred from Oregon, was taken to a local hospital emergency room as a precaution.

Texas coach Mike White told ESPN between the third and the fourth innings that Elish “is hurting a little but in good spirits.” However, White also said Elish would not be available for Saturday’s decisive Game 3, according to WVUA 23.

Shealyn O’Leary replaced Elish, who had pitched every inning of Texas’ four elimination games in the regionals, as the Longhorns rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win 7-5 and extend their season.

Iakopo hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to start the Longhorns’ rally. In a 4-4 game in the fourth inning, she drove in two runs when her bases-loaded grounder was thrown away.

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