As an athlete, transferring to a new college in a new state away from home can be challenging, but for Missouri Western State University senior softball LF Morgan Frost, it’s been a home run.
Frost has made a major impact for the Griffons in her two seasons so far, both on the field and in the classroom. Frost went to high school in Gilbertville, Iowa, then to a community college 45 minutes away at Kirkwood Community College, so the move to Missouri was quite a transition.
“It was weird because I was a junior, but I felt like a freshman,” Frost said. “I had gone to Kirkwood for two years and learned all the transitions that was needed there. I kind of bled blue and white there, and then I had to come here and immediately bleed black and gold.”
At Kirkwood, Frost was on the 2016 NFCA First Team All-American and 2017 NFCA Second Team All-American. The transition from community college to D-II isn’t always that easy for most athletes, according to Missouri Western coach Jen Bagley-Trotter.
“Juco transfers are always tough on that because you basically go through the hardships of being a freshman all over again,” Bagley said. “You have to learn a new team, learn a new system and learn a new coaching staff. On top of that, you learn a new school, and that can be really tough.”
While there are plenty of juco transfers from all around, Kirkwood Community College isn’t an uncommon one for MWSU softball.
“Morgan went to Kirkwood and was a standout there,” Bagley said. “The head coach at Kirkwood and I are friends from way back, and he has sent us some players from Kirkwood that have come to Western that have done a good job, and Morgan is no different.”
While the coaches reached out to one another, the campus visit that Frost had was a huge factor in deciding to come here. Missouri Western felt as close to home as it could be for Frost given that it was 294.6 miles away from her hometown.
“This was just kind of those things where, after I left, my Dad looked at me and knew this is where I wanted to go,” Frost said. “The opening of Spratt Stadium was the first official visit that I had. Coach also sold it. She is a very vital part of this program, obviously, and she is someone that I think a lot of people want to play for.”
Frost came in and had a large impact for the Griffs immediately. She started all 54 games in last season and had a team-high 15 doubles, 57 hits and 30 RBIs.
“She’s made big strides to help our team last year and this year,” junior INF Lauren Houston said. “She does everything she can to make our team win. She’s just always there for whatever a teammate needs.”
So far this season, Frost has started 34 out of the 38 games for the Griffs. She is leading the team in multiple batting statistics: 29 runs, 43 hits, 14 doubles and three triples. She has also hit three home-runs and has 26 RBIs.
Learning the new system and adapting to the Missouri atmosphere, Frost had to put in the extra work to get better in order to get to where she is now.
“Kind of sticking with my game, working out and doing the extra work needed to kind of get there,” Frost said. “This year, a big part of it, was reworking my mental game a little bit because that is something that I struggled with.”
So far this season in the MIAA conference, Frost is currently ranked fifth in hits, second in doubles and tied for fifth in triples.
“Morgan is someone who is tenacious about getting better,” Bagley said. “She swings and takes a lot of pride in working on her swing to get it to where it is. In addition to her just becoming mentally tougher and being stronger in the game part.”
Although Frost has made a major impact on the softball team’s success, she’s more than just an athlete. Last year, she was on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll and was able to do so while majoring in chemistry.
“What makes her successful on the softball field is what makes her successful in the classroom: Morgan works really, really hard,” Bagley said. “She is a smart young women and going through and being a chemistry major is not an easy road, much less being a student-athlete, and she is successful because she puts in the work.“
Frost has worked hard on the softball field and in the classroom. Something that has helped is having teammates as roommates in order to stay accountable.
“She is in a very tough major, and so am I,” Houston said. “Being roommates, we do a good job of keeping each other level headed. Morgan is always stressed about having good grades, but I’ve never seen her fail any of her classes, which is tough with as hard of classes she’s taken.”
Frost’s goal is to graduate in December and then try and get into medical school after taking the spring semester off. On top of being a good student-athlete, she is also a pretty social person.
“Morgan is a very determined young women and is very social,” Bagley said. So, making friends and connections from the outside was pretty easy for her. I think adjusting to what is expected to the MIAA takes players some time, but she had a really good season last year and has continued to improve this year.”
While she looks back at her collegiate softball career, Frost is grateful that she decided to be a part of Griffon Nation.
“I can’t imagine ending my career anywhere else,” Frost said. “I’m super glad that I chose here to end it. It’s also surreal because this is it for me and the seven of us playing; this is our last chance to wear Griffon gear.”
Frost is hoping to end her career on top and take the Griffons deep into the postseason.