Iowa State’s Sami Williams nominated for NCAA’s 2020 Woman of the Year Award

Iowa State then-junior Sami Williams is up to bat during the Iowa State vs. Oklahoma game April 28, 2019. The Cyclones were defeated 14-0.

Sam Stuve

Six-hundred-five NCAA student-athletes have been nominated for the NCAA’s 2020 Woman of the Year Award. 

One of the 605 nominees is Iowa State’s senior softball player Sami Williams, according to a Tuesday press release by the NCAA.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award is “Rooted in Title IX, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991,” the press release said.

To be eligible for the award, the nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, have earned her undergraduate degree no later than the summer 2020 term — or demonstrate she would have earned her degree if not for the COVID-19 pandemic — and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale, according to the award’s about page.

The 605 student-athletes are selected from the 1,268 NCAA schools. The 605 nominees come from the three different levels of the NCAA, 259 from Division I, 126 from Division II and 220 from Division III. 

“Member schools are encouraged to honor their top graduating female college athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year Award,” according to the press release. “Schools can recognize two nominees if at least one is a woman of color or international student-athlete.”

The Woman of the Year selection committee will announce nine finalists and determine the top three honorees in each division. The winner of the award will be chosen by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics and announced in the fall.

“Conference offices will select up to two nominees each from their pool of member school nominees,” the press release said. “All nominees who compete in a sport not sponsored by their school’s primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, will be considered by a selection committee. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.” 

Williams was supposed to play her senior season for Iowa State in 2020, but with the majority of the season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA granted her and teammate Logan Schaben an extra year of eligibility

In her career at Iowa State, Williams has earned many honors.

She earned the 2019 Big 12’s Softball Student-Athlete of the Year Award, she’s a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and earned a spot on the First Team in 2019.

On the field, Williams has been one of the best players in Iowa State’s history.

In her career, she’s averaged .380 batting, has 249 hits, hit 46 home runs and 126 runs batted in (RBI).

Williams is the Cyclones all-time leader in home runs with 46 and their all-time doubles leader with 64.

She has the 10th-most career at-bats in Iowa State history with 584, third-most home runs with 37, second-highest career batting average (.384), tied-for-ninth-most stolen bases with 32, second-most hits with 249, sixth in RBIs (126) and second in runs with 147.  

At shortstop, she has 422 assists, which is tied-for-third-most in program history with Monica Campana (1985-89). 

She is a two-time All-Big 12 First Team member from 2017 and 2019 and was a Softball America Honorable Mention All-American in 2019. 

Williams had a career year in 2019 as she broke single-season school records for hits with 82, runs with 59, doubles with 25 and home runs with 17.