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CHS grad Bates adjusts to life without softball for now
Sis Bates cover
University of Washington softball star Sis Bates is featured on the cover and inside of the April 2020 edition of the GoHuskies Magazine. Bates was a standout at Ceres High.

Nicole “Sis” Bates is featured on the cover and inside of the April 2020 edition of the GoHuskies Magazine.

The 2016 Ceres High grad is a standout senior shortstop on the University of Washington softball team.

“It was pretty cool seeing a small-town girl like myself profiled in the GoHuskies Magazine,” she said.

“My favorite part of being a softball player at Washington would have to be all of the relationships that I have been able to build,” Bates added. “The memories that I have been able to create alongside my best friends will be with me forever.”

Bates will resume her softball career with the Huskies in 2021.

The NCAA Division I Council voted on March 30 to grant an extra year of eligibility to all spring athletes who had their seasons canceled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“Another opportunity to win a national championship with my best friends and teammates. Who would turn that down?”
Nicole Bates

“Another opportunity to win a national championship with my best friends and teammates,” said Bates, whose team fell short in the finals of the Women’s College World Series her sophomore year. “Who would turn that down?”

Bates batted .529 from the plate with one triple, five doubles, 17 runs and 12 RBIs through Washington’s first 25 games this year. She had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on defense.

The second-ranked Huskies had an impressive 23-2 overall record prior to the season being cut short.

Bates has since moved back to California and is completing her education from home while college campuses throughout the United States remain closed through the spring quarter to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“I’ve been spending time with my family, which is really nice because we usually don’t get that,” Bates said in a recent interview with NCAA Digital’s Michella Chester. “Four years and I’ve probably spent maybe a month at a time with them. It’s been really nice staying home. Just trying to stay positive and busy at this time.”

Bates’ daily routine has changed significantly without softball in her life. 

 “Our trainers gave us some workouts to do that are keeping me sane because I’m someone that really thrives on routine,” Bates stated to Chester. “I’ve been doing lots of puzzles which is so weird to me because I’m always on the go. I do get frustrated and want to throw the puzzle sometimes but I don’t. I’ve been watching movies. I’ve been making dinner which is odd because I usually don’t do that. I’m usually the macaroni-and-cheese type gal. It’s been great hanging out with my family. We got a little puppy. Her name is Nala. She’s adorable.”

Bates hit .387 with three triples, 11 doubles, 77 hits, 30 RBIs, 60 runs and 10 stolen bases during her junior season. 

She was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season.

She earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable-mention accolades for the second consecutive year.

She was also voted a National Fastpitch Coaches Association First-Team All-American for the second year in a row.

Bates had a .988 fielding percentage. She committed just two errors.

Washington posted a 52-9 overall record, advanced to the semifinals of the WCWS and tied for first in the Pac-12 standings (20-4).

Bates attended the 2020 U.S. Women’s National Team Olympic Selection Trials this past October in Oklahoma City.

In December, Bates was named the Seattle Sports Commission for the MTRWestern Female Sports Star of the Year. 

Bates became a University of Washington softball fan in 2009, the year the Huskies won the national championship.

Now, Bates is considered one of the program’s and NCAA’s all-time greatest players.

“I don’t look at myself as one of the best,” Bates said to Chester. “I just want to keep competing and getting a little bit better every day. Coach (Heather) Tarr is big on being the best versions of ourselves that we can be at the University of Washington. Just striving to do that every single day.”

“I’m humbled by her journey through the softball world,” father John Bates stated. “She has been blessed with God-given talent, competitiveness, thirst for knowledge, work ethic and more importantly been able to surround herself with like talent and great coaching to drive her to be the best version of herself each and every day.”

When asked by Chester what her best advice was for young softball players, Sis Bates said: “Just commit to yourself to get a little bit better every day. This game is a game of failures so don’t be discouraged when that does happen. And just love it. Love every single second of it because it goes by so fast. I mean who would have thought I’d be a senior in my last year. Just soak up every second of it, soak up all the relationships you get throughout it because that’s the best part.”