The onslaught that was the winter of 2003 disrupted much more than just Broad Street traffic.
Many collegiate sports were forced to postpone or cancel games and events due to mountains of snow and a driving arctic wind.
But, with Jack Frost seemingly gone, spring sports are finally returning to business as usual, and just in time for the playoffs.
Temple’s softball team has kept itself just above the .500 mark with an 18-16 record.
But the real story is the 8-2 record in Atlantic 10 Conference play, which puts the Owls in contention for an A-10 Tournament bid and a possible trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament.
This past weekend, the Owls traveled to St. Bonaventure for the first of three straight doubleheaders leading up to the A-10 tourney.
Temple won game two when the offense produced 11 runs off of 19 hits to win 11-3.
Freshman Vicky Grasham threw a perfect game up until the fourth inning when she allowed three runs off of four hits.
Senior Liz Naughton was bought in to end the inning and was replaced by junior Kim Watkins at the start of the seventh.
Naughton allowed no hits, runs, or walks and struck out three.
St. Bonaventure shut out the Owls in the first game, winning 2-0. The Owls struggled with only five hits and stranded six on the bases.
Naughton put up a strong performance, striking out eight while only giving up two walks.
Her leadership has been crucial throughout the season, assistant coach Terri Adams said.
Naughton was recently named A-10 Co-Pitcher of the week, and teammate Lynsey Grace was named A-10 Player of the Week.
“Liz has gotten us through a lot of games,” Adams said. “She’s really turned it up.”
Temple has outscored its A-10 opponents, 61-23, with its closest wins coming against St. Joseph’s, 6-5 and 6-3
The Owl’s A-10 record is the second best behind perennial favorite Massachusetts, who have been crowned A-10 Tournament Champions the past eight years.
The Minutewomen have also been regular season champs for the last 11 seasons.
Their dominance was evident in their 52-game A-10 winning streak, which ended this past weekend when Dayton took game two of a doubleheader, 5-4, in a heated 12 innings of play.
The Owls were scheduled to play the Minutewomen earlier this month, but uncooperative weather stood in the way yet again.
Thus far, the weather has forced the cancellation of seven games and one postponment one.
Even when players have taken the field, the bitter cold has made things miserable, from stinging hands to frozen toes.
Fortunately, most of the Owls have remained optimistic despite the lousy conditions.
“[The weather’s] horrible to play in,” Watkins said.
“But it’s an adjustment you have to make. That’s how the game is.”
Aside from the weather, the only low-point of the season came during the A-10/ Big East Tournament back in March.
The Owls lost all four games following a four-game winning streak in the Plant City Tournament.
The lack of an offensive and defensive balance has been the Owls’ only Achilles Heel this season.
Yet these recent A-10 games tell a different story, most of which can be attributed to a new work ethic focused on the team rather than individuals.
“Things seem to be falling into place,” Senior Bari Lynn Pflueger.
“Everyone’s really focused and working hard to make it past the A-10 Tourney. The team has progressed as a whole.”
Steve Papurt can be reached at email@example.com.