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Bates to attend National Team Selection Trials
Nicole Bates

Nicole Bates didn't celebrate New Year's Eve with family and friends.

The 2016 Ceres High grad/University of Washington sophomore spent part of her winter break showcasing her talent at an open tryout for the 2018 USA Softball Women's National Team (WNT) in Clearwater, Florida.

Bates and just eight other players from a pool of just under 100 athletes on Sunday advanced to the WNT Selection Trials.

"This is dream stuff," said John Bates, Nicole's father. "A girl from a small town being able to vie for a spot on the Women's National Team is amazing. She's given up a lot of her personal time to perfect her craft. She's surrounded herself with the best players she could to better her game."

Bates, 19, moved a step closer to accomplishing another one of her goals.

She'll try to earn a spot on the USA Women' National Team.

Bates helped lead the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team to a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation World Championship in July.

She batted .444 (12-for-27) from the plate with seven RBIs, 12 runs and two stolen bases during the tournament.
Nicole had a productive freshman season with Washington this past spring.

The Huskies advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division-I Women's College World Series.

Washington claimed Super Regional and Regional titles.

Bates was a finalist for the 2017 Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I Freshman of the Year award.

She earned NFCA Pacific-Region Third-Team honors.

She was also selected to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.

Nicole started all 64 games for the 50-14 Huskies, with her primary position being second base.

She posted a batting average of .338 with three home runs, six triples, 10 doubles, 33 RBIs and 42 runs.

Bates collected 66 hits.

She committed just five errors.

Nicole ranked first on the team in triples, second in total hits and runs scored, fourth in doubles, fifth in RBIs and total bases, and sixth in homers, walks, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

She led the conference in triples.

Bates and the Huntington Beach-based Firecrackers-Rico 18-and-under travel softball team captured the 2016 PGF National Championship. Competing in the Premier Division, Firecrackers-Rico edged California Cruisers-Sievers 2-0 for the National crown. Nicole accounted for two of her team's three hits.

Nicole participated in the PGF High School All-American Game. She singled twice and scored once as the West prevailed 4-3 while battling the East.

Bates filled a major role as Ceres High's softball program captured its second Sac-Joaquin Section title in 2016.

The Bulldogs ended a 21-year drought between championships by edging out Benicia 3-2 in the Division-III finals.

Nicole doubled once, singled twice and scored once.

She secured the victory with an unassisted double play.

In 114 career games with Ceres High, Nicole batted .512 (205-for-400) with 14 homers, 22 triples, 31 doubles, 102 RBIs, 171 runs, 52 stolen bases and 32 walks with just 13 strikeouts.

Bates won the 2016 Cal-Hi Sports Ms. Softball State Player of the Year award.

She received FloSoftball All-American First-Team honors and Premier Girls Fastpitch West Regional All-American Team accolades.

Bates was also selected to the Louisville Slugger Hit Club, which recognized 10 of the nation's top hitters.

"It's powerful for the young ones in this area to see they can go onto college and beyond," John said while talking about his daughter's success.