Michigan softball team safe after tornado scare at World Series in Oklahoma City
Courtesy of Michigan Athletics
Michigan players were eating dinner at their hotel when sirens first went off and hotel officials instructed all guests to file into the parking garage beneath the hotel. Athletic director Dave Brandon and his wife, Jan, helped to corral families, friends and fans nearby as well.
After an hour underground, guests were brought to ground level, but were instructed to go back about 45 minutes later as storms persisted in the area.
"We are grateful to our hotel staff and the Oklahoma City police for acting swiftly to safeguard our team and the others staying in the area. We spent about two hours below ground in an underground garage and were able to stay together with the student-athletes' families and many of our fans, which gave us peace of mind,” Michigan softball coach Carol “Hutch” Hutchins said in a statement. Michigan is staying at a downtown location along with the Washington, Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska and Texas teams. Several storm touchdowns were reported on Friday night along Interstate-40 including in the Oklahoma City suburb of El Reno, 25 miles west of the city.
Several Michigan players took to Twitter to confirm their safety and offer support to victims in the area.
The team is safe and out of shelter but continued prayers for the people still being hit by this storm. #prayers," tweeted senior captain Amy Knapp.
"Everyone in our hotel is okay for now, but pray for all those in the path of the storms #prayforoklahoma #staysafe," tweeted Michigan's first baseman Caitlin Blanchard.
The team is safe and out of shelter but continued prayers for the people still being hit by this storm. #prayers— Amy Knapp (@amy_kay1) June 1, 2013
Everyone in our hotel is okay for now, but pray for all of those in the path of the storms #prayforoklahoma #staysafe— Caitlin Blanchard (@blanchard_44) June 1, 2013
Friday night’s games between Washington and Tennessee, and Texas and Oklahoma were postponed until Saturday because of the weather. After losing to Oklahoma on Thursday night, Michigan did not have a Friday game and was scheduled to play Arizona State on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game has been pushed back until 9:30 p.m.
“Tonight softball talks a backseat because we know so many were not as fortunate to have the shelter that we did. Please keep the people of Oklahoma in your thoughts," Hutchins said.
-- The Associated Press Contributed to this report.