Freshman Sami Williams continues to make waves on softball team


Iowa State freshman Sami Williams is met at home plate by her team after hitting a home run in her first at bat against Oklahoma State on Saturday, April 15. 

Tara Larson

Sami Williams, freshman infielder on Iowa State’s softball team, has been getting her share of recognition lately.

She’s looking to continue the tear through her freshman campaign Wednesday against in-state rival Northern Iowa at the Cyclone Sports Complex. This game was originally set for March 29 but was rescheduled because of inclement weather. 

Against Iowa on April 18, Williams tied the school record for doubles hit in a single season. Two days later, Iowa State announced that she was named a finalist for the 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award. She then broke the single-season doubles record in a weekend series against Texas. 

Williams is among the top-25 freshman softball players competing for the freshman of the year award, which will be narrowed to 10 players on May 11. The top three will be announced May 24, and the winner from that group is set to be announced on May 31.

“I thought [the award] was deserved and she earned it,” coach Jamie Trachsel said. “Her level of intensity and focus is that she doesn’t want to be good, she wants to be great. She’s done that every single day.”

The freshman has been excelling not only in the Big 12 but on her own team as well. She has the highest slugging percentage on the team at .610 and has the highest RBI count with 29. She also has the most home runs, with seven on the season.

“I don’t really look at a lot of the stats so I didn’t really have a perspective about it,” Williams said. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

Williams credited her success during the season to being able to stay calm and confident, saying this is when she plays her best.

Not only did Williams shatter the school record for double hits in a game, but the team collectively broke a single-season record for stolen bases — the Cyclones now have 90 on the season — when Kelsey McFarland snagged two stolen bases on Sunday against Texas. 

“It shows that we have been getting better and we have made improvements,” Trachsel said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t be breaking the records.”

The Cyclones beat Texas in a series for the first time in program history last weekend. It also was the first conference series win since 2013.

“It was really exciting, especially since a lot of our upperclassman haven’t won a series yet,” freshman Logan Schaben said. “We’ve really done good at taking the positives out of the losses even though it’s a hard thing to do. It’s nice to see it pay off.”

The Cyclones (18-32, 3-12 Big 12) play at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against in-state rival UNI (26-17, 14-6 MVC) in the Cyclone Sports Complex.