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Former Bulldog Sis Bates earns defensive honor
Bates 37
Ceres High grad/University of Washington softball shortstop Nicole “Sis” Bates has been named Softball America’s NCAA Defensive Player of the Year. She didn’t make a single error in 15 games.

Nicole “Sis” Bates has been named Softball America’s NCAA Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The 2016 Ceres High grad/University of Washington senior infielder didn’t commit a single error during the COVID-19 shortened spring season.

She totaled 18 putouts and 33 assists in 15 games.

“We never expected that Sis Bates would receive the national following she has but we could tell she had the makings of developing into a great Husky softball player,” Washington head coach Heather Tarr said when asked if she was surprised by Bates’ rise to stardom.

“None of these things would be happening if she wasn’t on a good team,” father John Bates said after Sis was voted best shortstop on ESPN’s Greatest All-Time Softball Team via a fan poll on June 9.

A first-team All-American two times and the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and sophomore, Bates has made just 11 errors during her career, including two the past two seasons.

Bates has collected 245 hits, eight homers, 13 triples, 42 doubles, 113 RBIs and 172 runs in 202 career games.

She’s helped lead Washington to three trips to the NCAA Division-I Women’s College World Series, including a finals appearance in 2018.

Bates will return for a fifth and final season with the Huskies in 2021.

She was granted an extra year of eligibility after the 2020 spring campaign was cut short due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“We wouldn’t want to spend 2021 without Sis Bates, and thanks to the support of our athletic department, we are going to have the opportunity to have Sis contribute greatly to our program once again,” Tarr said.  “We feel so lucky.”