Tornadoes Prompt NCAA to Postpone Friday's Women's College World Series Games

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2013

Courtesy of statepress.com
Courtesy of statepress.com

Two games at the 2013 Women's College World Series were postponed Friday night after tornadoes outside Oklahoma City headed the host city's way. 

According to an ESPN report, the tornado first touched down close to Interstate 40 near El Reno. Multiple funnels moved through the area, which is about 25 miles outside Oklahoma City, causing damage and scattering debris into the air.

CNN notes that at least 14 people have sustained injuries during the storm; five are dead, including a mother and child. Friday's storm comes just 10 days after a deadly twister in Oklahoma City's south side killed 24, injured hundreds and caused damage throughout the city. 

ESPN announcer Beth Mowins reported that hail was currently pelting the Oklahoma City area and that all had been advised to stay at their hotels. At least six teams were stationed in the basement of a parking garage the Cox Convention Center. 

Yahoo!'s Twitter feed sent out a picture of the players hiding out underground for safety:

Tornado forces players, fans at Women's College World Series to flee underground: @uwsoftball @yahoosports twitter.com/UWSoftball/sta…

— Yahoo!(@Yahoo) June 1, 2013

In a phone interview with ESPN, Washington coach Heather Tarr confirmed her team was safe and described the horrific scare felt by all involved. 

"We had a couple girls in tears, so they were pretty scared," Tarr said. "You just try to stay together and not let anybody get lost, first of all, in the basement and make sure everybody just stays close and just hope that everybody is safe around us."

Tarr's 11th-seeded Huskies were scheduled to play seventh-seeded Tennessee at 7 p.m. on Friday, which was postponed two hours before the scheduled first pitch. Top-seeded Texas was also scheduled to be in action against fourth-seeded Oklahoma in the late game.

Those games have now been pushed back to Saturday afternoon, with Florida versus Nebraska and Michigan versus Arizona State comprising the two late elimination games. The two elimination games scheduled for Saturday night will be moved back to early Sunday, with the winner of those games moving on to play another game later in the evening. 

As of now, the NCAA is still planning on the best-of-three final to begin on Monday. 

There is no word what damages (if any) were done to the playing surface at Hall of Fame Stadium and whether this plan will come to fruition. But as Michigan coach Carol Hutchins noted, softball is a secondary thought for all of those trapped in the storm at the moment.

"Tonight softball takes a backseat because we know so many were not as fortunate to have the shelter that we did," Hutchins said in a statement. "Please keep the people of Oklahoma in your thoughts."

Our thoughts are with everyone in the Oklahoma City area at this time. 

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