Redhawk student-athletes Justin Dirden, baseball, and Rachel Rook, softball, were ranked among the best in the country at their positions.
DI Baseball named Dirden as the Ohio Valley Conference's Most Impressive Hitter.
The right fielder from O’Fallon, Mo., was boasting a .900 slugging percentage and had gone 9-of-9 in stolen bases at the time the season ended. Dirden had a .414 batting average with nine home runs, 26 RBI and 20 runs scored. He ranked second in the nation in home runs.
Dirden led the OVC in hits, home runs, RBI and total bases (63), and was tied for first in stolen bases. He rated fifth in the OVC in batting average (.414) and second in runs scored.
DI Baseball released its 2020 Top 50 Senior Hitters in late March and Dirden was second on that list.
Meanwhile, junior softball pitcher Rachel Rook was ranked among the nation's Top-100 pitchers according to D1Softball.com.
A native of Republic, Missouri, Rook was putting together an outstanding 2020 season when play was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rook was 4-2 with a Ohio Valley Conference best 0.70 ERA through seven appearances and six starts. She tossed complete games in five of her seven appearances in the circle. Rook also threw three shutouts, struck out 51, walked only seven and allowed just four earned runs in 40 innings. She was named OVC Pitcher of the Week following a 13-strikeout performance against South Carolina State (Feb. 23), and she later tossed a complete game one-hit shutout with a career-high 15 strikeouts vs. Bryant (Mar. 6).
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