GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A 12-year-old softball player suffered a brain injury when she was hit in the head with a ball during practice, and died a day later, police and family said.
Margaret Ruth "Maggie" Hilbrands was hit during a routine infield drill on Monday -- a day after the death of a minor-league baseball coach who was struck by a line drive in Arkansas. The Grand Rapids girl died Tuesday at DeVos Children's Hospital.
"She missed the ball. It appears it hit her in the wrong spot. She never regained consciousness," her mother, Jan Hilbrands, told The Grand Rapids Press.
The ball struck her head, producing a brain injury that caused her heart to temporarily stop, police and family told the paper. Rescuers performed CPR at the scene.
The Kent County medical examiner's office planned to conduct an autopsy Thursday.
Maggie had been set to enter the seventh grade this fall at Grand Rapids Christian Middle School. She had been practicing with teammates on the Lowell Xtreme traveling softball team.
"The team is having a real hard time," her mother said. "This was kind of Maggie's first experience with the traveling team, but she really enjoyed it."
On Sunday, Mike Coolbaugh, a 35-year-old coach for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers, died after being struck by a line drive as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a game in Arkansas.
On Tuesday, Pulaski County (Ark.) Coroner Mark Malcolm told the Tulsa World that Coolbaugh died from a loss of blood to the brain after the foul ball hit him on the left side of his neck, rupturing an artery.
Coolbaugh was given CPR on the field, but Malcolm said there was nothing medical personnel could have done to save him.