OKLAHOMA CITY — Eight home runs and 19 RBI propelled UCLA senior B.B. Bates (Victorville, Calif.) to this week’s USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The outfielder led her team to a 5-0 record including four run-rules in this weekend’s Easton Desert Classic. The undefeated weekend shot UCLA up five spots to No. 13 in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. This is the first USA Softball Player of the Week award for Bates and the first for a Bruin since Stephany LaRosa garnered the award in Week 10 of last season.
“I’m very honored to receive this prestigious award. It feels great,” said Bates. “It’s going to motivate me to keep doing great things, keep my head strong and stay positive and humble. What worked for me this weekend was that I was having fun. I was very relaxed and having fun with the girls and it just helped me see the ball better and relax in the box.”
Bates, who entered the week with just one homer on the season, went yard in all five of UCLA’s weekend contests including three-consecutive two-home run games. She finished with an astonishing eight homers, 19 RBI and 10 runs scored. Bates went 12-of-17 from the plate for a .706 batting average. The senior also recorded a 2.176 slugging percentage and a .722 on-base percentage.
“To put on a hitting display the way she did speaks volume of what this year could look like for her,” said UCLA Head Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “I’m very proud of her for what she did this weekend. But her focus has really been on the team and I think it has allowed her to play relaxed and play some great softball. She makes people around her better and that is what she is focusing on this year, which will allow her to do some great things on the field.”
Bates established a pair of UCLA records as she became the first Bruin to hit two home runs in three-consecutive games and her six homers over a three games stretch beat out the previous school record of four. With home runs in five straight games, Bates is currently tied for the UCLA mark for consecutive games with a homer.
“Being able to put my name alongside my idol Natasha Watley, who was the first Bruin to earn this award, is amazing,” said Bates. “I’ve looked up to her since I was 11 and I continue to try and follow in her footsteps that she cemented here at UCLA.”
The Bruins will next compete in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. February 22-24. UCLA is slated to face No. 4 Tennessee, Maryland, Oklahoma State, No. 10 LSU and Nevada over the course of the weekend.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
About the NCAA Women’s College World Series
The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 23rd year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, over 75,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 30 to June 5 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2013 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and make a date with champions!