The softball team was waiting to board a flight back to Philadelphia at the Lambert St. Louis International Airport on Friday evening, when a tornado touched down in a town northwest of the airport and delayed flights indefinitely.
The Owls (20-18, 11-3 A-10) recently completed its two-game series with St. Louis, in which the squad won both games, 9-1 and 1-0. However, the Cherry and White faced an unexpected road challenge: how could they get home to join their families for Easter Sunday? The team followed evacuation orders, staying at a nearby hotel, and reported no one on the team was injured.
After evaluating options, the team decided to take an estimated 16-hour-bus-ride back to Philadelphia. Coach Joe DiPietro said he hopes the team will return to Temple Sunday morning.
“I’m used to storms and nothing usually happens, so I was telling everyone it was going to fine” senior pitcher Kristen Marris said.
Marris said she experienced similar storms growing up in The Colony, Texas, but she admitted this particular stormed was “shocking.”
“I wasn’t really thinking much of it, but then the airport workers were yelling and everyone was freaking out,” Marris said. “So it was kind of freaky, but an experience I guess.”
The tornado reported winds of 166-200 mph where it touched down and caused substantial damage to the airport and surrounding houses. No serious injuries or deaths have been reported in St. Louis.
Connor Showalter can be reached at email@example.com.