A fan in attendance at Friday night's Red Sox game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park was rushed to a local hospital with serious injuries after a broken bat struck her in the second inning. The Boston Globe reported that the woman was sitting with her son near the visitor's dugout along the third baseline when she was hit in the face by a shard of Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie's shattered bat, leaving him holding onto the handle. Witnesses say the woman, whose family identified her as Tonya Carpenter, began screaming and could be heard by fans tuning into the game's radio coverage.
According to the Globe, Carpenter was seated just beyond the protective screen surrounding home plate, which usually stops stray pitches and broken equipment. Emergency responders immediately swarmed the stands, pulling Carpenter, whose face was already bleeding profusely, onto a stretcher. Red Sox president Larry Lucchino followed closely behind. A Boston police officer plucked her son from the busy crowd and carried him alongside.
"You try to keep her in your thoughts and, hopefully, everything's all right and try to get back to the task at hand," said Lawrie after the game, in an interview with reporters. He indicated that while he was required to continue playing, the incident worried him the rest of the night. "I've seen bats fly out of guys' hands [into] the stands and everyone's OK, but when one breaks like that, has jagged edges on it, anything can happen."
On Saturday morning, Carpenter's family reported that, although she was still under critical supervision, she was stable for the moment.
"She is in serious condition," said the family in a statement. "Tonya's family and loved ones are grateful to all who have reached out with thoughts and prayers but are requesting privacy at this time as [she] recovers."
The incident occurred around 7:40 p.m. on Friday night after Lawrie hit a groundout to second base.
"Brett Lawrie hit the ball and the bat snapped in half near the end," said witness Alex Merlas in a comment to the Globe. explaining that the shattered piece struck Carpenter in the forehead. "I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much blood."
Another fan told the paper that Carpenter began pushing the EMT's hands away as they tried to wipe her face, saying that she seemed "out of it."
"She seemed in shock, she was not aware of what was going on," said Arvald Carp to the Globe on Friday night.
Boston police spokeswoman Officer Rachel McGuire told reporters on Saturday that Carpenter was expected to survive but was being closely monitored. Authorities did not offer any additional updates.