Nicole “Sis” Bates has been named to the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team roster for the 2022 Pan American Championship.
The announcement was made on Oct. 11.
Bates, a 2016 Ceres High School grad and three-time All-American at the University of Washington, will make her debut with the senior team later this week in Guatemala.
“I got an email from USA Softball,” said Bates, 24, a standout shortstop. “I’m really excited to wear red, white and blue again and represent our country. I’ll never take that for granted.”
Bates was among 15 players selected to represent Team USA.
She’ll reunite with her former University of Washington head coach Heather Tarr, who also doubles as leader of the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team.
“It’s awesome to play for someone I adore so much,” Bates said. “I’m excited to go on this new journey with her.”
Bates will team up with Odicci Alexander, Jada Cody, Mia Davidson, Alyssa Denham, Megan Faraimo, Rachel Garcia, Sahvanna Jaquish, Janae Jefferson, Aubrey Leach, Amanda Lorenz, Mariah Mazon, Michelle Moultrie, Dejah Mulipola and Morgan Zerkle.
Bates, Alexander, Davidson, Denham, Garcia, Jaquish, Jefferson, Leach, Lorenz, Mazon, Mulipola and Zerkle all played in the Athletes Unlimited Women’s Professional Softball League this past summer.
“I’ve played with or against most of the girls on the team,” she said.
Bates will don jersey number 96 for her brother Jimmy at the Pan American Championship. He was born in 1996.
Bates originally planned to wear No. 32 to honor longtime friend Austin Stiles. But the number was already taken. Stiles died in a car accident at the age of 24 on Dec. 1 in Acampo.
“Even though I won’t be wearing Austin’s number, he’ll be in my heart and on my mind the whole time,” Bates said. “It was a friendship we nurtured through the years. We met in the fourth grade. I really miss him. He was the hardest, working person I ever met. He really inspires me to get better every day.”
Bates has competed on the international stage before.
She suited up for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team in 2017.
Bates won a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championship after batting .444 from the plate (12-for-27) with seven RBIs and 12 runs.
She hit .350 with nine RBIs at World Cup of Softball XII.
The 2022 Pan American Championship will be staged, Nov. 12-19, in Guatemala City.
Team USA will try to qualify for the 2024 WBSC World Cup.