Headache lingers for Royal Knight

Published March 1, 2007

NEW PORT RICHEY - Mother and daughter stopped at three crammed emergency rooms before giving up and heading home.

Three hours searching for a doctor and equally long waits sent River Ridge pitcher Nicole Denney to bed with a welt, a headache and orders to monitor her concussion-like symptoms.

A tossed ball smacked her in the head Tuesday before a 7-0 loss at Land O'Lakes. She pitched the first and second innings before alerting coach Ernie Beck, who benched her as a precaution. Denney sat helpless and in tears behind home plate as her mother, Mimi, tried comforting her.

Beck went to the bullpen for only the second time this season, first to Sam Stall, then Jessica Tamburri, marking the first time in recent memory someone besides Denney started for the Royal Knights.

Denney (6-1, 1.77 ERA, 32 strikeouts) hopes at the least to be ready for Tuesday's game against Central.

When she finally got home Tuesday, she slept while her father, Dennis, woke her every hour or so as a precaution. Denney went to classes Wednesday to stay eligible for a game against Springstead, but found herself in the ER intent on seeing a doctor.

"We couldn't get it checked out (Tuesday)," Denney said while waiting at Community Hospital in New Port Richey. "I'm still dizzy and my head hurts."