By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Former Bulldog Nicole Bates attends MLB, MLS games as special guest
Bates weird
Ceres High School grad/former University of Washington softball standout Nicole “Sis” Bates threw out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners-New York Yankees game on Thursday at T-Mobile Park. - photo by Courtesy of Ben VanHouten/Seattle Mariners

Ceres High School grad/former NCAA Division-I softball star Nicole “Sis” Bates made special guest appearances at Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer games this past week in Seattle.

“God is SO good,” Bates wrote in a post shared on Instagram on July 8.

A standout shortstop/hitter at the University of Washington from 2017-21, Bates threw out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners-New York Yankees game on Thursday at T-Mobile Park.

She was interviewed by Aaron Goldsmith, the play-by-play announcer for the Seattle Mariners Radio Network, during the third inning.

“One of the best to ever do it on the diamond,” the Seattle Mariners wrote in a post shared on Twitter. “Thanks for joining us today, Sis Bates!”

Bates led the “Scarves Up” ceremony prior to kickoff of the Seattle Sounders’ home match versus the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday at Lumen Field.

She told fans to lift their scarves up and cheer on the Sounders.

Bates was a good luck charm at both games as the Mariners posted a 4-0 victory over the Yankees and the Sounders earned a 2-0 shutout win.

“Pretty wild,” said John Bates, Sis’ father.

Bates became the University of Washington’s all-time hits leader during her final season with the Huskies.

She collected 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.

She had on-base, slugging and on-base plus slugging percentages of .450, .526 and .976, respectively.

Bates became just the second player in Pac-12 history to win the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award three times this spring.

Bates totaled just seven errors dating back to the start of the 2019 campaign, which covered a span of 135 games.

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

Bates batted .389 from the plate in 2021 with one homer, five triples, 12 doubles, 32 RBIs, 55 runs and 21 stolen bases.

She led the Pac-12 in hits with 75.

Bates started the year a perfect 18-for-18 on stolen bases.

Bates also made history this year by becoming just the fifth hitter from Washington to earn National Fastpitch Coaches Association (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.

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

She was named Washington’s 2020-21 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal recipient for Outstanding Female Student-Athlete.

She made the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll in 2020 and earned Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention recognition in 2019.

She was voted Seattle Female Sports Star of the Year in 2019.

Bates earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in educational leadership and policy studies with a 3.92 grade-point average.

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 from 2017-2021.

Washington had a 23-2 overall record and ranked first in the NFCA/USA Today poll when 2020 collegiate spring sports were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Getting ahold of someone like Sis is not easy,” Huskies head coach Heather Tarr said. “She’s a game-changer. We expected that from her. No one predicted she would become the sensation she is today. She’s as popular of an athlete there is in today’s sports world. She’s done a great job of not letting the success get in her way. She doesn’t want the attention. It’s awesome having someone like that representing our program with that stature. She prefers to lead by example. She’s one of the nicest people.”

Bates will play professional softball in the Athletes Unlimited League this summer.

She was drafted on May 10.

The inaugural Athletes Unlimited Softball Draft Class included Bates, Rachel Garcia (UCLA), Giselle Juarez (Oklahoma), Shannon Rhodes (Texas), Dejah Mulipola (Arizona), Amber Fiser (Minnesota), Jessie Harper (Arizona), Ciara Bryan (Louisiana Lafayette), Sami Williams (Iowa State), Aliyah Andrews (LSU), Carrie Eberle (Oklahoma State) and Alyssa Denham (Arizona).

The season will be held, Aug. 28-Sept. 27, at the Parkway Bank Complex in Rosemont Ill.

Athletes Unlimited is a player-centered sports organization with teams being re-drafted by player captains every week and a scoring system for both teams and players. 

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.

Bates and 10 other elite players from across the nation were named to the Louisville Slugger Hit Club.

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

Bates batted .571 from the plate with five homers, four triples, nine doubles, 33 RBIs, 45 runs and 14 stolen bases while striking out just five times in 113 plate appearances during her senior year with the Bulldogs.

She made just one error on defense.

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.