May 7, 2012
BERKELEY - Though she has already enjoyed commencement exercises - donning the cap and gown in December - senior Valerie Arioto finished her academic collegiate career two weeks ago. Arioto further capped off her time in Berkeley on May 3 by receiving the Tom Hansen Pac-12 Medal, which is given to the top male and female senior student-athletes at each member institution. After redshirting her true senior season last year, Arioto paces the starters, hitting .398 with an incredible 1.009 slugging percentage thanks to her 21 homers. Additionally, she set a new Bear program record with her 20th homer of the year on April 22. CalBears.com sat down with the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist to talk all things Berkeley.
CalBears.com: What is your best Cal story or favorite Cal experience?
Valerie Arioto: I've been so blessed in my five years here. Every day with my teammates, a great story gets created. I cherish the memories from all my years at Cal!
CalBears.com: What will you miss most about Cal?
VA: I'm going to miss my teammates!!! They're always there for me.
CalBears.com: What are your career plans and what are you plans after graduation?
VA: I plan to play with the USA national team and then with the USSSA Pride this summer. And then we will see what life brings me.
CalBears.com: Has Cal lived up to or has it been different or better than the expectations you had of it as a freshman?
VA: It has definitely been a roller coaster ride, especially after breaking my leg at the start of last season. But I have learned a lot and it has shaped me into who I am today. My college years have definitely been some of my best years so far!
CalBears.com: What has been the most embarrassing or funny story in your years at Cal?
VA: I don't think I can just pick one. Every day on this team is funny, and I do a lot of embarrassing things!
CalBears.com: What advice would you give to freshmen?
VA: Just have fun and work hard, the wins will come as a result!
CalBears.com: What was the best class you took?
VA: My favorite class I have taken would either be the sociology of sports or my laughter and mediation class.
CalBears.com: What is your favorite place to eat or go in Berkeley?
VA: My favorite place to eat in Berkeley is Trattoria la Siciliana. It's some good, authentic Italian food on College!
CalBears.com: What memories or games stick out in your mind from your time in the Blue & Gold?
VA: All the fun times on bus rides. We are quite a musically talented team!
CalBears.com: What does it mean to be a part of Cal softball?
VA: It is an honor to be a part of the legacy of Cal softball! Being one of the best teams in the country and getting one of the best educations in the country is irreplaceable, and I am grateful for this opportunity!