Sunday, the Washington softball team visited Moore, Okla., helped with the clean-up and saw the devastation of last week’s tornadoes first hand.
Friday, they found themselves huddled in the basement of an Oklahoma City hotel amid a tornado warning while wind howled and hail pounded around them. The Huskies are safe, but their scheduled game against Tennessee was postponed as the Women’s College World Series suspended play because of the storm.
Coach Heather Tarr said Sunday’s visit to Moore provided a chilling perspective to Friday’s bad weather. More than 30 players, coaches, trainers, and other team personnel, along with a few family members, hustled down stairs from their rooms on the sixth and seventh floors to the basement of the Downtown Sheraton at about 6:30 p.m. CDT.
“A couple of the girls were crying,” Tarr said by telephone. “They were scared. It’s scary because we knew what happened (in Moore). We saw the damage.
“You don’t know what to expect. You don’t what’s going on above.”
Said senior catcher Shawna Wright, “Half of us were scared and half of us weren’t. We just tried to stick together and make sure everyone knew we’re all safe and there was nothing to worry about.”
The Huskies tried to stay loose, playing music on players’ boomboxes and staying connected with family members via text messages and social media until UW and five other World Series teams staying at the same hotel got the OK to return to their rooms.
Once upstairs, windows finally gave them a glimpse of how bad the storm was.
“We could finally see outside,” Tarr said “It was pitch black, and rain and hail were coming down like crazy.”
Tarr, who learned Friday night that her team will play Tennessee at 9 a.m. Saturday, is glad her team is safe.
“We didn’t have this in our plans,” she said. “We just have to adjust and figure it out.”