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Bates helps lead USA Softball to title
• Grad fills key role as USA claims Pan Am Championship
Bates in Guatemala
Nicole “Sis” Bates (left) and the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team claimed Pan American Championship in Guatemala City this past week.

Nicole “Sis” Bates made her debut with the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team at the 2022 Pan American Championship this past week in Guatemala City.

The 2016 Ceres High School grad hit .500 (13-for-26) from the plate with one home run, two triples, three doubles, nine RBIs and 13 runs as the Americans claimed the gold medal at the Nov. 12-19 international event.

She batted second on offense.

She played shortstop on defense.

“It’s pretty surreal I get to represent the United States,” Bates stated during an interview with the Courier leading up to the Pan American Championship. “I feel really grateful and blessed to say the least.”

Bates was among 15 players selected to represent Team USA.

She reunited with her former University of Washington head coach Heather Tarr, who also doubles as leader of the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team.

Bates also teamed up with Odicci Alexander, Jada Cody, Mia Davidson, Alyssa Denham, Megan Faraimo, Rachel Garcia, Sahvanna Jaquish, Janae Jefferson, Aubrey Leach, Amanda Lorenz, Mariah Mazon, Michelle Moultrie, Dejah Mulipola and Morgan Zerkle.

Bates, Alexander, Davidson, Denham, Garcia, Jaquish, Jefferson, Leach, Lorenz, Mazon, Mulipola and Zerkle all played in the Athletes Unlimited Women’s Professional Softball League this past summer.

USA won all nine of its games at the Pan American Championship.

Team USA topped Canada 12-1 in the finals on Saturday.

Bates batted 1-for-2 with two runs.

USA bested Cuba 13-2 in the Playoff Round on Nov. 18.

Bates batted 2-for-4 with one double, one RBI and two runs.

Team USA defeated Canada 8-2 in the Playoff Round on Nov. 16.

Bates batted 2-for-4 with one run.

USA collected wins against Brazil (11-2) and El Salvador (16-1) on Nov. 16, Costa Rica (20-0) on Nov. 15, Puerto Rico (8-0) on Nov. 14, Venezuela (19-3) on Nov. 13 and Argentina (9-2) on Nov. 12.

Bates batted 2-for-4 with one homer, one double, three RBIs and two runs against Venezuela.

She batted 2-for-4 with one double, two RBIs and two runs versus Brazil.

Bates has competed on the international stage before.

She suited up for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Softball Team in 2017.

Bates won a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championship after batting .444 from the plate (12-for-27) with seven RBIs and 12 runs.

She hit .350 with nine RBIs at World Cup of Softball XII.

“Softball is still something that brings me so much joy,” Bates said. 

A 2021 Athletes Unlimited Women’s Professional Softball League draft pick, Bates was named GEICO MVP following the conclusion of the 2022 condensed season.

She had 21 putouts and a .952 fielding percentage in 12 games.

Bates enjoyed a storied athletic career with the University of Washington from 2017-21.

She became just the second player in Pac-12 history to earn three Defensive Player of the Year awards (2021, 2019, and 2018).

Her career fielding percentage of .980 is the second-highest mark for any middle infielder in Huskies’ history.

Bates became the program’s all-time hits leaders during her final season. She had 320 hits in 261 career games.

She also ranks first in triples (18), third in runs (227), fourth in batting average (.385) and fifth in doubles (54) in program history.

Bates also made history by becoming just the fifth hitter from Washington to earn NFCA All-American honors for a third time.

She was selected to the NFCA Second Team.

She was a first-team pick in 2019 and 2018.

She was a Top-10 finalist for 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.

Bates filled a major role in leading Washington to 222 victories, three trips to the Women’s College World Series—including one finals berth—and one Pac-12 regular-season title.

Bates was a four-year standout at Ceres High School.

She was voted 2016 Cal-Hi Sports Ms. Softball State and Medium Schools Player of the Year.

The two-time FloSoftball First-Team All-American was selected to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Super Elite First Team and All-State Medium Schools First Team.

She also participated in the Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) High School All-American Game.

Led by Bates, Ceres High collected 85 wins, claimed one Sac-Joaquin Section championship, captured three Western Athletic Conference crowns and appeared in the playoffs four times.