Olympic Sports

Williams named Iowa State’s Female Athlete of the Year

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletic Communications.

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State softball All-American Sami Williams was honored today by the Iowa State Athletics Department as the recipient of the 2021 Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year award.

Williams capped off her career as one of the greatest players in Iowa State and Big 12 softball history. She put together a staggering statistical season in 2021 while leading the Cyclone program to new heights. Williams broke single-season program records for batting average (.446) and home runs (21) on the year with 54 RBI and an incredible .902 slugging percentage.

The native of Laguna Niguel, Calif., is departing Iowa State as the school’s all-time leader in hits (329), doubles (79), home runs (67), RBI (180), runs scored (212), at-bats (833) and games played (253).

Williams is also the Big 12’s all-time leader in career hits, doubles and total bases (627). Her 79 career doubles are tied for third-most in NCAA DI softball history. Her 627 total bases are fourth-most in NCAA history.

Individual statistics only tell part of the story of Williams’ profound impact on Iowa State softball. She will leave Iowa State as the program’s all-time winningest player, having appeared in 128 victories during her time in the Cardinal & Gold. In 2021, Williams helped Iowa State earn its first-ever top-25 ranking in the NFCA Coaches’ poll on Feb. 23 following a 9-1 start to the season. She then led ISU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1988, and first-ever NCAA Regional Final appearance in Columbia, Mo., to cap one of the greatest seasons in school history. Following the season, she became the first Cyclone ever to be named a NFCA First Team All-American.

Off the field, Williams was a finalist for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award, and was one of five student-athletes nationally to be named a Senior CLASS Award Softball First Team All-American. She is also a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American – just the third student-athlete in the history of Iowa State Athletics to earn the honor three times.

The Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year award was renamed the Celia Barquin Arozamena Female Athlete of the Year award in honor and memory of Iowa State’s 2018 Female Athlete of the Year, who died in September of 2018.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.