Newcomers of the Year: Steven Stewart, Brooke Allen

Story by Kyle Davis

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Freshmen Steven Stewart and Brooke Allen became Baker student athletes in two sports this year and have made the most of their first year as collegiate competitors.

“That’s one of the main reasons why I came to Baker, being able to play two (sports),” Stewart said. “Having a new experience each semester is…it’s great. I never wanted to give up either one of them, so I figured I’d come here and try and play both.”

Stewart was a member of the Baker soccer team that was the 2008 Heart of America Athletic Conference champions and won a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship opening-round game against Park University.

Stewart scored three goals and had four assists in 22 games during his freshman campaign. Stewart scored the game-winning goal, with 30 seconds left, against William Jewell College, which he said was one of his best soccer moments of the year. He followed up that performance by scoring two goals in the next game against Central Methodist University.

Switching over from the soccer pitch to the baseball field, Stewart hit .304 for the season with 26 runs scored, 10 doubles, three home runs and 31 RBIs.

“Since we didn’t have him in the fall, and he didn’t get the same amount of reps as possibly some of our other starters, just his toughness and his willingness to succeed helped propel him and get some of the numbers that he did,” baseball head coach Phil Hannon said.

Stewart was named the HAAC Baseball Player of the Week April 6 after batting .440, with an .840 slugging percentage, 11 hits, two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs in six games.

Allen was recognized by the HAAC in both volleyball and softball as a HAAC All-Conference Honorable Mention selection in volleyball and a HAAC Second Team All-Conference selection in softball.

"She's got a very good demeanor about herself and a very positive attitude and she's always working hard to improve her game," softball head coach Jennifer Rigdon said.<br/>In volleyball, Allen switched positions to setter this season and led the team in assists with 1,103. As the leadoff hitter for the softball team, Allen led the team in hits with 34, batting average at .358 and stole bases with 12 in 15 attempts.In volleyball, Allen switched positions to setter this season and led the team in assists with 1,103. As the leadoff hitter for the softball team, Allen led the team in hits with 34, batting average at .358 and stole bases with 12 in 15 attempts.
In volleyball, Allen switched positions to setter this season and led the team in assists with 1,103. As the leadoff hitter for the softball team, Allen led the team in hits with 34, batting average at .358 and stole bases with 12 in 15 attempts.

Allen said some of her memorable moments from this year can be credited to her teammates.

"All of the (women) that I played with, they're amazing athletes," she said. "They're so competitive and they just made every game fun because they all just have that competitive urge and that always makes the game fun."<br/>