Missouri Western head coach Jen Bagley Trotter and her softball team were set to travel to Jefferson City, Missouri, last Friday for a doubleheader against Lincoln University when the MIAA announced it was suspending all conference competition due to concerns regarding the global coronavirus pandemic.
“I called Jen and said, ‘Hey, you need to pull your girls off the bus and we need to chat; there’s an emergency cabinet meeting on what’s going to happen with the future of the semester,’” Missouri Western Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Josh Looney said.
What first looked like a few days off, transpired into the MIAA canceling the remaining spring regular-season schedule and the 2020 MIAA conference championships.
The cancellation resulted in Bagley Trotter not being able to meet with her team in person. After texting her team the unfortunate news, she picked up the phone and called her three seniors individually.
“All three of my seniors are scheduled to graduate, so that was really tough. That’s probably the toughest piece, just knowing those kids are hurting, and rightfully so.”
Seniors Olivia Goodale, Lauren Houston and Markee Brown had their senior season cut short, but they have been given the option to return.
The NCAA Division II Administrative Committee granted an additional season of eligibility to athletes in spring sports and waived sports sponsorship requirements for schools canceling spring seasons.
Despite the abrupt ending to this season, Bagley Trotter is relieved that no one is stuck without an option.
“We’ll know what it’s like to have redshirts now,” Bagley Trotter laughed. “Whatever they decide to do I’ll respect. I would take all three back tomorrow for another year.”
The three seniors have yet to announce their decision.