ST. LOUIS -- Jacob Petricka of Indiana State University and Tara Oltman of Creighton University have been selected the Prairie Farms Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Week, Commissioner Doug Elgin announced Tuesday. Petricka and Oltman were honored for their performance during the period of April 12-18.
Now in its 11th 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 continued involvement in this program provides a visible platform by which to recognize our top student-athletes,” said Commissioner Elgin, who is in his 22nd year with The Valley. “Our student-athletes are the league’s best representatives, and we’re happy to honor Jacob (Petricka) and Tara (Oltman) for their athletic and academic achievements.”
A pitcher for the Creighton softball team, Oltman, a senior from Cortland, Neb., posted a 3-1 record with a 1.99 earned-run average and a save, as the Bluejays split a double-header with Kansas (winning 8-0 and losing 6-5 on April 15) and swept a three-game series from UNI (8-2 and 4-3 on April 17 and 8-0 on April 18).
Oltman, who has a 3.91 cumulative grade-point average in English and secondary education, fired a six-inning, three-hit shutout versus Kansas. On Sunday, she logged a six-inning, two-hit blanking of UNI. She has now appeared in 168 games, tying Darcy Wood of Indiana State for career appearances, while her 949.1 innings pitched surpassed Wood’s former MVC mark of 931.2.
To qualify for Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week laurels, student-athletes must carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20, completed at least one academic year at a Valley institution and must be at least a sophomore in academic standing. Redshirt freshmen and first-year junior college transfers are not eligible. In addition to the academic qualifications, student-athletes will be evaluated on their athletic performance for a one-week period.