Accident during practice sheds light on softball concussions

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by Natalie Rivers

azfamily.com

Posted on May 4, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 4 at 2:15 PM

PHOENIX - Much of the spotlight surrounding the concussion debate centers on football, but for one Basha High School softball player she knows all too well that concussions aren't selective to a single sport.

Basha junior Kailey Reegester found out a freak moment during practice sidelined her start to this season and brought the reality of suffering a concussion in softball to the forefront for the Bears.

Reegester was hit by a softball just under her left eye causing multiple fractures, a concussion and sidelining the ace for almost half of this season.

When the accident happened she felt dizziness, one of the most common symptoms of a concussion, and went through what many athletes go through emotionally dealing with having to sit out of the action.

"It was hard listening, I was upset I wasn't on the field helping them," she said.

Reegester realized accidents like this are part of the game and no one knows when an injury can happen.

Doctor Javier Cardenas at Barrow Neurological Institute at Saint Joseph's Hospital said in softball and baseball it is good to identify the positions on the field most likely to be at risk for a head injury. Catchers are most at risk thus wear a helmet with a cage.

The debate around the country is whether or not cages should be required not only on all batters and base runners, but at certain position on the field.

New legislation is making coaches in all sports think about concussion education and the health concerns for a player who returns from injury too soon.

Now back on the mound, Reegester has the opportunity to reflect on her injury and recognize how important it was to have a strong support system of teammates, coaches and her parents around her to make sure she was taking time away from the game to recover from the concussion.

The reality of her story is she listened to her doctors during her recovery and is back at full strength putting up good numbers on the mound for the Bears.

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