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May 15, 2018 10:21 PM

Staying Safe At The Softball Fields

Sioux Falls, SD

It's just about the worst case scenario for any parent who attends a live sporting event. But the nightmare is reality for one Iowa family. 

While she was in her mother's arms at her father's game earlier this month, eight-week-old McKenna Hovenga was hit by an overthrown softball. The baby suffered a fractured skull, and possibly brain damage. There is a Facebook page called "Healing for McKenna" where you can follow updates.

Tuesday night KELOLAND News visited the softball fields at Harmodon Park in southeast Sioux Falls to see how parents keep their kids safe in an active sporting environment.

It's four-month-old Evelynn's first softball game. She's at Harmodon Park watching her dad play. Her mother Miranda Reynolds says there is apprehension about bringing the little one.

"Absolutely, especially, there was just a foul ball, so we were all covering our heads and trying to duck and making sure where the ball was. So it's just paying attention," Reynolds said.

It's not only the players who have to keep their eye on the ball.

"I would typically keep her in the car seat with the visor down, that way she's kind of protected from the sun, too, but she was just eating, so just making sure you're watching where the balls are, and keeping her head covered when they start yelling," Reynolds said. 

"Well I only let my, by myself, if it's just me, I only let my 12- and my 10-year-old come and watch me because they can pretty much watch out for pop fly balls, but my four, they can't come by themselves," Sioux Falls resident Lecon Terry said.

Terry plays softball here every Tuesday night. 

"I love to bring them outside as much as I can, and you don't want to coddle your children," Terry said.

The news out of Iowa has only strengthened his belief.

"Hearing that story...just validated me not bringing them here if, unless there's an adult," Terry said.


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