Olympic medallist Danielle Stewart has capped off a stellar career by becoming the latest member of the Australian Softball Hall of Fame. She will be joined at the next Hall of Fame induction ceremony by long-time statistician Helen Edwards.
Stewart, an athletic infielder, won a bronze medal as part of the Australian softball team at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. She rose to the top of her sport despite several setbacks due to knee injuries.
Stewart, now Danielle Bouman, played 148 games for the Australian Open Women’s team and was the 237th player to represent the Aussie Spirit.
Playing college softball at Briarcliffe College and Hofstra University in New York proved to be the launchpad for Stewart’s international career. At Briarcliffe she held the single-season home run record and captained the team to the NJCAA Division 1 College World Series. At Hofstra she also took out the single-season home run record.
In 2005, Stewart debuted for the Aussie Spirit against New Zealand in Sydney. She continued her representative career with the Aussie Spirit by playing in the Canada Cup, US World Cup, Japan Cup, and on tours of New Zealand and Europe.
Stewart made her ISF Women’s World Championship debut in 2006 as part of the Aussie Spirit team that won a bronze medal. She also represented Australia at the 2010 World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela.
Stewart brought a mix of power and speed to the offensive line-up and displayed great athleticism in defence at shortstop and second base.
In 2006 she was awarded the Most Valuable Player at the National Grand Prix Series in Melbourne.
Stewart has also been a great ambassador off the field. In 2008 she was named as a Women’s Sport Queensland Athlete Ambassador. From 2008-09 she was Softball Queensland and Softball Australia Athlete Ambassador. During 2009-10 she was selected by the ISF as one of 12 athletes worldwide to represent softball in the campaign to have softball returned to the Olympic Games. During this time, she travelled extensively around the world to present the campaign to the International Olympic Committee members.
Helen Edwards served as the Statistician for the Australian Open Men’s team from 2006-2015, attending three ISF Men’s World Championships and six other international events during that period.
In 2009 she was the statistician for the Aussie Steelers when they won the ISF Men’s World Championship held in Saskatoon, Canada.
Edwards has been the Victorian Open Men’s Statistician for 18 years and served on the Victorian Scoring Committee for 13 years. In 2016 she was awarded Life Membership for her service to Softball Victoria.