UW freshman Sis Bates playing like a veteran as Huskies open softball Super Regionals against Utah

All the way in California, Sis Bates became a UW softball fan after she watched the Huskies win the 2009 national championship. Now, she hopes to help the Huskies get back to the Women’s College World Series

UW softball coach Heather Tarr was on the road scouting a 14-and-under softball tournament in Northern California in 2010, when a former player from her days as an assistant coach at Pacific approached her with a tip.

“You’ll never believe this,” the woman told Tarr. “But that shortstop right there wants to go to UW. She watched every pitch of every inning of your 2009 National Championship.”

Tarr was intrigued. After all, it’s not every day that a kid recruits the coach instead of the other way around.

As it was, Sis Bates, now the Huskies’ starting second baseman and a contender for National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year Honors, made Tarr’s job impossibly easy.

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Bates was so set on playing at UW that she didn’t even entertain overtures from any other college teams in the recruiting process.

“It was UW all the way,” Bates says, grinning.

Less than a decade since she first found her Huskies fandom, Bates is an integral component of a team that’s chasing its first Women’s College World Series berth since 2013.

UW (46-11) won the NCAA Softball tournament’s Seattle Regional last week, and this weekend, the sixth-seeded Huskies host 11th-seeded Utah (36-14) in a best-of-three Super Regional that will determine who makes that coveted trip to Oklahoma City in June.

It’s all a little surreal for Bates, who, this time last year, was just finishing her senior year at Ceres High School.

“I came in just wanting to compete. Wherever coach Tarr needed me, I would play,” Bates said.

Even though she grew up in Ceres, Calif. just outside of Stockton, Bates became a Huskies fan at age 11 after she watched UW win the 2009…

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