From the diamond to the dormitory

Slick-fielding Oakmont graduate Karyssa Williams will move from ‘2B’ at William Jessup to ‘RA’ next school year
By: Kayla Nix/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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William Jessup University’s softball program played host to an NAIA Qualifying Tournament last weekend for the first time in school history.

The Warriors (28-17) went in as the top seed, having gone 15-1 in the California Pacific Conference, but lost to second-seeded Simpson 13-2 in the championship game.

Jessup’s roster featured considerable talent from the area but just one player from Roseville: Oakmont High School graduate Karyssa Williams.

And now, after one year on the squad, Williams will step away from softball for the second time in her career to attend other goals and aspirations. This time, she’ll become an RA on campus next school year.

“That’s been just a decision on my part,” Williams said. “My passions have changed from competitive sports to helping people.”

Williams played varsity softball at Oakmont in her freshman and sophomore years before taking a break from the game.

“I was a starter, but then I had to stop and work and start saving money for school,” Williams said.

The 18-year-old second baseman became known as a defensive force in her one year at Jessup.

“She’s brought steadiness and has been a really strong defensive player,” coach Jessica Pistole said. “She’s done a great job for us.”

Williams started 28 games and committed just one error in 74 chances, a .986 fielding percentage.

“Getting to every ball is my main goal,” Williams said. “And keeping up out there is crucial.”

Williams said her role as a freshman was to fill a slot when it needed to be filled, lifting her teammates “and keeping the team together, just encouraging everyone.”

She had just 12 at-bats in the regular season and two in the postseason. Williams’ batting average was .250. Among her three hits were a home run and a double. She also had three RBI.

“Her strength … this year has definitely been her defense,” Pistole said.