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Sis Bates the best?
Nicole Bates holds ball
Former Ceres High softball star/University of Washington sophomore shortstop Nicole Bates.

ESPN.com ran a poll asking readers, Who’s the best NCAA softball shortstop of the last decade?

Ceres High grad/University of Washington All-American Sis Bates and seven other players are being considered for the honor.

Bates currently leads all vote-getters.

She’s received 24 percent of the total votes.

“I sent her a link and she texted me back that she was surprised,” said John Bates, Sis’ father. “It’s humbling for her to be in that conversation. I never would have guessed in my wildest dreams she’d get this much recognition at this level. It’s mind blowing.”

Bates filled the stat sheet while leading the sixth-ranked Huskies to a three-game sweep of Pac-12 rival Cal on the road last week.

She batted .727 (8-for-11) from the plate with one double, five runs and one RBI against the Golden Bears.

Bates extended her hitting streak to seven games.

She collected one double, two singles and one RBI in Washington’s 4-0 shutout of Cal on Sunday.

Bates singled once and scored twice as the Huskies topped the Golden Bears 6-2 on Saturday.

She finished 4-for-4 with three runs during Washington’s 8-0 win on Friday. It marked the first time Bates collected four hits in a single game.

Bates and the Huskies earned their third straight Pac-12 series sweep.

Washington improved to 32-6 on the year and 9-3 in conference play.

The Huskies have won their last 10 games.

Bates posted a team-high batting average of .403 with one triple, eight doubles, 16 RBIs, 36 runs, nine stolen bases and 18 walks through Washington’s first 38 games.

She’s made just one error on defense.

Nicole started every game for the Huskies for the second year in a row this past spring.

She had the highest single-season fielding percentage (.985) for a shortstop in the 26-year history of Washington’s softball program.

She also became just the fifth Husky player to collect 140-plus hits in their first two seasons.

Bates batted .389 from the plate with five homers, three triples, 16 doubles, 37 RBIs, 53 runs, 25 walks and nine stolen bases on the year.

She committed just four errors and turned 12 double plays.

Nicole was a finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.

She was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division-I All-American and All-Region first teams.

She was voted Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

She was selected to the conference’s All-Defensive and First teams.

She also earned Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention recognition.

Bates became just the third player from Washington to win the conference’s top defensive player award. 

Bates and Washington fell two wins shy of winning the 2018 NCAA Division-I Women’s College World Series title.

“Softball is my passion,” Bates said in a recent interview with the Pac-12 Network. “It’s been since I was four years old. I just have so much fun with my friends out here.”

Bates became a fan of Washington softball after it won the NCAA championship in 2009.

She signed a national letter of intent with the Huskies in November 2015.

“Nothing was going to stop her from achieving her dream,” stated Mike Corsaut, Bates’ assistant coach her freshman year at Ceres High and U.S. History teacher in eighth grade at Mae Hensley Jr. High. “It’s says a lot about her and the hard work she put in. She’s one of the best shortstops in the world. I don’t think any college coach would deny that.”

“She loves the game,” Corsaut added. “You can see the joy on her face when she plays on TV.”