Redshirt freshman sets many records during Blues’ season

Eric Smith

When the Washburn Lady Blues softball team started last season, they had high expectations.

However, nobody could have expected redshirt freshman third baseman Tish Williams’ record-setting season performance.

Williams not only led her team but the entire conference in eight of 12 offensive categories, including batting average (.490), hits (1.5 per game), home runs (.28 per game and 14 overall), doubles (.34 per game), RBIs (1.12 per game), total bases (2.72 per game), on-base percentage (.551) and slugging percentage (.889).

“Last year I just went out there and did the best I could,” said Williams. “I didn’t really think about myself. I just mainly thought about the team. It just kind of happened.”

Williams set several single-season Washburn records. Her .490 batting average was 32 points higher than the previous record. Her 14 home runs and 56 RBIs were the most Washburn had ever seen in one season.

The young third baseman is good at getting on base. Her on-base percentage was 32 points higher than the next person in the conference.

“Getting on base like she does is a big asset that sets the tone for the game for the rest of our hitters coming up,” said head coach Lisa Carey. “One through nine in the batting order can get the job done anytime, but it’s just nice having Tish because she can help the team in so many different ways.”

Her 75 hits place her fourth in Washburn single season history while her 17 doubles last season tie her for third on the single season records. In a game April 26 against Park, Williams set a single-game record with three home runs and tied another with her seven RBIs in the game.

“Setting records and playing the way I did last season, I don’t really care about breaking them,” said Williams. “I don’t look at my batting average. It doesn’t really appeal to me. I just think about having a good time and helping the team win, and that’s about it.”

Selected the MIAA Freshman of the Year, Williams started all 50 games at third base.

“She’s going to be in our lead-off spot this season,” said Carey. “With her on-base percentage, her batting average and her power numbers, she’s like a triple-threat.”

Williams has many aspirations this season to continue to help make the team better.

“One of my goals is to just help the other players. I think if I strike out or something, it is important for me to just forget about that and move on,” said Williams. “It’s important to cheer for the girls after me and just make sure they do well.”

Washburn and the softball program definitely got a jewel with Williams, as she chose to attend Washburn rather than Division I program Oklahoma.

“I read about Washburn and it seemed like a really good school,” said Williams. “I liked the small campus because I knew I’d fit in and be comfortable and not as nervous. I plan on being at Washburn for all four years and doing whatever I can to help the team win.”

Williams was named second team all-MIAA and second team Daktronics last season. When asked if she thought she should’ve made the first team all-conference, she commented modestly just as she had done every other time.

“I don’t really have any control over any of that,” said Williams. “I don’t pay attention to all the stats. Whoever gets on the team gets on the team. I don’t care about all that. I’m just here to play.”