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Bates back on the field
Nicole Bates holds ball
Former Ceres High softball star/University of Washington senior shortstop Nicole Bates.

Nicole “Sis” Bates returned to the University of Washington softball team’s starting lineup this past week.

The 2016 Ceres High grad missed 10 games after being placed in concussion protocol.

Bates hit her head while making a defensive play against University of Central Florida on Feb. 12 as reported by The Daily of the University of Washington.

“It’s difficult when you work so hard and long, and this is all you know, and you can’t go out there,” said John Bates, Sis’ father. “She didn’t have a choice, thank God. As a parent, I can’t be happier with how her team and the medical staff dealt with it. Head injuries are something you can’t play through. She needed to give herself some time to heal properly.”

Bates batted .412 from the plate with one double, three RBIs and three runs as the second-ranked Huskies compiled a 4-1 record at the Feb. 28-March 1 Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton.

The All-American senior shortstop committed no errors on defense.

Washington beat Cal State Fullerton (7-2) and Michigan (10-2) on Sunday.

Washington shut out Fresno State (8-0) on Saturday.

Washington topped LSU (3-1) and lost to Texas (8-6) on Friday.

The Huskies improved their overall record to 19-2.

Prior to being sidelined, Bates hadn’t missed a single game during her three-plus seasons at Washington.

She made 193 consecutive starts dating back to her freshman year.

The Huskies had a combined record of 9-1 during Bates’ absence.

Washington won all five of its games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic and was 4-1 at the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational.

“The team is so deep,” John Bates said. “It’s not defined by any one player.”