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Bates is best of the best
• CHS grad Bates wins Pac-12 Defensive POY Award
Nicole Bates holds ball
Former Ceres High softball star/University of Washington senior shortstop Nicole Bates.

Ceres High grad/University of Washington sophomore Nicole “Sis” Bates has been named Defensive Player of the Year by the Pac-12 Conference.

Nicole became just the eighth Huskie player to claim one of the conference’s major individual awards.

“I watched some of her highlights,” said Angela Durossette, Nicole’s high-school coach. “She’s got a quick release and her range is so good.”

Bates, who made the majority of her 52 starts at shortstop, committed just two errors during the regular season.

She posted the highest single-season fielding percentage (.985) for a shortstop in the 26-year history of Washington’s softball program.

“She doesn’t give up on any ball. She’s always taken a lot of pride in her glove.”
John Bates, Nicole's father

“It’s fun to watch her play defense,” said John Bates, Nicole’s father. “She doesn’t give up on any ball. She’s always taken a lot of pride in her glove.”

Nicole joined rare company by becoming just the third player from Washington to win the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award. She followed in the footsteps of Jenn Salling (2011) and Shawna Wright (2013).

Bates was selected to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team and Pac-12 First Team as well.

She was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team in 2017.

“It’s awesome that she got recognized,” John said. “But if the team wasn’t good, she wouldn’t have got that. It goes hand in hand.”

Nicole led Washington and ranked second in conference play with a .400 batting average in 2018.

She set new career highs in home runs, doubles, hits, runs, walks and steals.

She had a team-high 19 multi-hit games. 

Nicole started the season on a 15-game hitting streak, the Huskies’ longest in over five seasons.

Bates helped turn 11 doubles plays.

Washington finished fourth in the Pac-12 standings with a 15-8 record.