ST. LOUIS -- Andy Dirks and Ashly Bright of Wichita State University have been selected the Prairie Farms Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Week, Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today. Dirks and Bright were honored for their performances during the period of March 31-April 6. Now in its ninth year of existence, The Valley’s Scholar-Athlete program is sponsored by Prairie Farms, Roberts and Hiland Dairies. On a weekly basis, the Conference honors its student-athletes for their athletic performance for a one-week period and academic success in the classroom.
“Prairie Farms and its family of dairies have been the only sponsors of this worthwhile endeavor by the Missouri Valley Conference,” said Commissioner Elgin, who is in his 20th year with The Valley. “We are grateful for Prairie Farms continued recognition of our student-athletes for their athletic performance and their academic success.”
An outfielder for the ninth-ranked Wichita State baseball team, Dirks, a senior from Burrton, Kan., led the Shockers to a 4-1 week, including a Missouri Valley Conference series victory against Missouri State. Batting .556 (10-for-18) with eight runs scored, three doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBI, Dirks powered WSU to wins at Kansas (7-3 on April 1), Oral Roberts (10-8 on April 2) and Missouri State (19-8 on April 5 and 9-5 on April 6).
The MVC Player of the Week, Dirks, who has a 3.188 cumulative grade-point average in general studies, reached base safely in all five games and now has a streak of 39-consecutive contests where he’s reached safely. On April 5 versus the Bears, he went 5-for-5 with a career-best five RBI, a double and a home run.
A pitcher for the Wichita State softball team, Bright, a senior from Oklahoma City, Okla., capped a sensational week in the circle with a record-breaking performance after going 3-0 with a 0.51 earned-run average in four appearances, including handing Creighton its first two league losses of the season.
Bright, who has a 3.15 cumulative grade-point average in elementary education, registered a 2-1 win over Creighton on Sunday, April 6, during which she passed the WSU single-season strikeout mark, previously held by Margo Pruis (247 in 2006). With 12 strikeouts on April 6, she now has 255 strikeouts in 2008.
To qualify for Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week laurels, student-athletes must carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00, completed at least one academic year at a Valley institution and must be at least a sophomore in academic standing. In addition to the academic qualifications, student-athletes will be evaluated on their athletic performance for a one-week period.
. . . The Valley . . .