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Ex-Bulldog standouts stepping up
Bates, ONeal fill key roles on respective teams
Ceres High grad Nicole Bates had reason to smile during top-ranked Washingtons 8-0 win over Alabama at the Husky Classic this past week in Seattle. Bates batted 3-for-4 from the plate with one homer, one double. three RBIs and three runs versus the No. 11 Crimson Tide. - photo by Photo courtesy of Red Box Pictures

Former Ceres High softball standouts Nicole Bates and Mahlena O'Neal helped their respective NCAA Division-I college teams make history this past week.

A sophomore shortstop, Bates batted .400 from the plate with one homer, one triple, one double, four RBIs and four runs as top-ranked Washington improved its overall record to a perfect 23-0 following a 5-0 showing in Seattle.

Washington topped Alabama twice (8-0, 4-1), and Northwestern (8-2), BYU (7-4) and Portland State (4-1) at the Husky Classic.

The Huskies set a school-record for consecutive victories.

A sophomore catcher, O'Neal collected one single and one RBI as No. 14 Georgia secured its 17th straight victory with a 6-1 win over UNC Greensboro.

O'Neal batted .375 from the plate with one RBI, one run and two walks as the Bulldogs compiled a 5-0 record at their home tournament.

Georgia bested UNC Greensboro (7-0, 6-1) and Jacksonville (7-0, 6-0) twice, and Radford (12-2) once.

The Bulldogs improved to 18-1 overall.

Georgia tied its program-record for consecutive wins.

Bates posted a batting average of .466 with five homers, three triples, five doubles, 23 RBIs and 31 runs through the Huskies' first 23 games.

Nicole committed no errors in 56 chances and turned four double plays on defense.

O'Neal had a batting average of .265, three homers, two doubles, 14 RBIs and four runs during the Bulldogs' first 18 games.

Mahlena committed no errors with 108 putouts and seven assists.

She allowed just eight stolen bases.