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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Sydney McKinney comes home in AUX summer tournament

Kristy Mace
Sydney McKinney, a WSU softball alum, speaks as a panelist during the Nov. 17 press conference in the Heskett Center.

Wichita State’s Wilkin’s Stadium will host Athletes Unlimited Pro Softball’s AUX competition in the summer of 2024. The competition will allow fans to see world-class athletes, including Wichita State’s very own Sydney McKinney. 

“I never thought I’d get this chance,” McKinney said. “Just to be out here surrounded by my friends, my fans, my coaches (is) gonna be really cool.”

McKinney graduated from Wichita State last spring. She was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2023 AU Pro Softball College Draft and a three-time All-American.

Kristi Bredbenner, head coach of softball, said that McKinney was single-handedly the best softball player at Wichita State over the past decade.

“It’s exciting for us as a softball program, and it’s a very proud moment for us to see (McKinney) get back on the field and play at Wilkins Stadium again and bring all her friends who are just as good as she is,” Bredbenner said.

The intense summer competition will feature 18 games in two weeks and will see the participation of 42 athletes playing a series against each other. The top three players on the leaderboard will captain and draft the teams. There may be up to nine total combinations of players. 

The multi-year agreement with AUX comes as Wichita State Athletics is set to begin a nearly $20 million multi-phase renovation project at Wilkins Stadium. Phase one of the renovations is set to start in the spring of 2024 and includes the installation of an indoor training facility next to the stadium. 

Brad Pittman, senior associate athletic director, said the facility will be under construction during the summer competition but that it will not affect what happens on the field.  

AUX’s summer competition will begin June 10 and run through June 24. The competition will be followed up by AU Pro Softball, which will take place later that summer in Rosemont, Illinois.

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Sports Editor
Kristy Mace
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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