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Valerie Arioto and Jolene Henderson claimed gold with Team USA.
Courtesy: USA Softball
Arioto, Henderson Claim Gold with Team USA at World Cup of Softball
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  07/14/2014

IRVINE, Calif. – California softball standouts Valerie Arioto (2008-12) and Jolene Henderson (2010-13) turned in dominant performances to help the U.S. Women’s National Team capture gold at the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX on Sunday in Irvine, Calif. Team USA went a perfect 7-0 at the tournament, while Canada (5-2) finished second and Chinese Taipei (4-3) took bronze. Rising sophomore Alleah Laxamana and her Philippines (RP Blu Girls) squad finished seventh with a 1-6 record.

Arioto shined among the star-studded Red, White and Blue lineup, as the USA Softball veteran turned in a 6-for-15 (.400 batting average) performance at the plate to lead Team USA with five home runs, 12 RBIs and seven runs scored through the entire tournament.

Fellow All-American Henderson logged 14.1 innings in the circle, earning credit for the wins against Venezuela and Mexico. The ace offered up only seven hits, two earned runs and a walk while striking out 10.

Laxamana went 1-for-9 at the World Cup, recording a single and an RBI vs. Venezuela and a walk vs. Chinese Taipei.

Up next for Team USA is the Canadian Open Fast Pitch Invitational in Surrey, B.C. July 15-21.  The team will get a short break before reuniting in Waldorf, Md. for an exhibition series, after which they will head to Azzano, Italy for Italian Softball Week.  All of these events, including the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX, are in preparation for the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women's World Championships, which is August 12-24 in Haarlem, Netherlands.

Highlights from each game plus links to box scores and full recaps are below:

July 7

Philippines 3, Venezuela 0 | BOX SCORE | GameChanger Recap

Laxamana: Did not play

The Philippines got off to a strong start in Irvine, notching 10 hits off of two members of the Venezuelan pitching staff and scoring three runs. Francesca Foti allowed Venezuela just five hits with no walks and one strikeout in her seven-inning performance.

July 8

Philippines 0, Mexico 7 (5 innings) | BOX SCORE | GameChanger Recap

Laxamana (catcher): 0-for-2

Mexico used a four-run rally in the fifth inning to claim victory. Mexico’s Brandi Melero used a double and a home run to tally six RBIs while in the circle Erika Bennett pitched a two-hit shutout and struck out four batters.

USA 5, Venezuela 0 | BOX SCORE | USA Softball Recap

Arioto: Did not play

Henderson (pitcher, 6 innings): 0 runs, one hit, 0 walks, three strikeouts

Henderson was lights out for Team USA, retiring every Venezuelan batter through the first five innings to lead the Eagles to a shutout win in their opener. She allowed only one hit while fanning three in six complete innings of work. Henderson was bolstered by a home run from Jessica Plaza, as well as eight other hits between six batters.

July 9

Philippines 1, Canada 3 | BOX SCORE | GameChanger Recap

Laxamana: Did not play

Canada used a 3-for-3 day at the plate, including two RBIs, from Carey-Leigh Thomas and a one-hitter performance from Karissa Hovinga to hand the Philippines the L. The RP Blu managed to get on the board with one run when Marlyn Francisco, who was hit by pitch to get on base, scored on a passed ball.

USA 13, Philippines 1 (5 innings) | BOX SCORE | USA Softball Recap

Arioto (first base): 2-for-4, grand slam and solo home run, five RBIs, two runs scored

Henderson: Did not play

Laxamana: Did not play

Arioto launched two home runs, including a grand slam and a solo homer, to lift the Red, White and Blue to a dominant13-1, five-inning victory. She hit her solo long ball at the top of the first to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead, and matched the homer with a grand slam at the top of the fifth. The Golden Bear was one of three USA players to tally two hits as the team racked up 11 total hits to the Philippines’ one.

July 10

USA 5, Canada 3 | BOX SCORE | USA Softball Recap

Arioto (DP): 1-for-4, two-run homer, two RBI, one run scored

Henderson (pitcher, 2 innings): three runs (two earned), two hits, one walk, one strikeout

Arioto upped her home run total to three after blasting a two-run shot in the third inning. It was her only hit of the day and one of 10 hits off of Canada’s combined three pitchers. Arioto led the team in runs batted in, and Lauren Gibson went 3-for-3 to help the cause. Henderson entered the circle for the U.S. at the bottom of the fourth, tossing two innings and allowing two earned runs off of two hits and one walk before Jessica Moore came in as her replacement.

Philippines 1, Japan 10 (5 innings) | BOX SCORE | GameChanger Recap

Laxamana: 0-for-2

Japan picked up six runs in the first three innings to coast to a smooth 10-1 victory. Yuka Ichiguchi was a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI, and Yu Yamamoto also put up three runs and two RBI for Japan. The Japanese tallied 12 hits to the RP Blu's four, with the Philippines' only run coming from Gabrielle Rodas, who had one triple and one double in a 2-for-2 day.

July 11

Philippines 1, Chinese Taipei 16 (5 innings) | BOX SCORE | GameChanger Recap

Laxamana (catcher): 0-for-1, one walk

The RP Blu Girls dropped another game after giving up 14 runs in the first three innings to Chinese Taipei. The Blu's pitching staff struggled, giving up a combined 16 hits, 15 RBIs and 11 runs between seven batters, with Pei Chun Lin and Meng Ting Lai garnering three hits apiece. Laxamana drew a walk in the second inning.

USA 8, Japan 1 (5 innings) | BOX SCORE | USA Softball Recap

Arioto (first base): 1-for-1, two-run home run, three RBIs, two runs scored, two walks

Henderson: Did not play

Arioto emerged with another shining performance against the reigning World Cup champion Japan squad, going a perfect 1-for-1 thanks to another two-run homer and two walks. The Team USA veteran turned in three RBIs and scored two runs to lead the Eagles to an 8-1 rout that was also helped by Amanda Chidester’s three-run shot. The U.S. Women trailed Japan 1-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth, and it was Arioto who helped them break through with her base-clearing long ball.

July 12

USA 3, Mexico 2 | BOX SCORE | USA Softball Recap

Arioto (DP): 1-for-2

Henderson (pitcher, 5.2 innings): 0 runs, three hits, six strikeouts, no walks

Despite a strong pitching performance from Henderson that included six strikeouts to just three hits, the U.S. ran into trouble against Mexico in the seventh inning. The U.S. was up 2-0 entering the final inning thanks to an in-the-park home run and RBI single from Raven Chavanne, but Mexico caught up with back-to-back home runs off of Jaclyn Traina at the top of the seventh. Henderson reentered the game to issue the final two outs to Mexico before Michelle Moultrie saved the Eagles’ spotless record with a sac fly at the bottom of the seventh.

USA 14, Chinese Taipei 0 (4 innings) | BOX SCORE | USA Softball Recap

Arioto (first base; pitcher, 1 inning): Batting: 1-for-1, two-run home run, two RBIs, two runs scored, two walks; Pitching: No runs, one hit, two strikeouts

Henderson: Did not play

USA scored for runs at the top of the first inning, including one from Arioto. It would be one of her two runs scored in the game. She scored another run at the top of the second after connecting for her fifth home run of the tournament, a two-run shot for the 7-0 lead. The Eagles continued the offensive barrage with five batters logging two or more hits in the game for a total of 14 for the USA. The Red, White and Blue used runs from nine different batters. Arioto made her only pitching appearance of the tourney, entering the circle for the fourth and final inning. She tossed back-to-back strikeouts and then allowed a single before a ground ball ended the game early.

July 13

USA 5, Canada 2 (Championship Game) | BOX SCORE | USA Softball Recap

Arioto (first base): 0-for-3

Henderson (pitcher, 0.2 innings): no runs, one hit, no walks, no strikeouts

The USA reclaimed the World Cup of Softball title after defeating Canada 5-2 in the championship game. Despite a quiet game from Arioto, six U.S. batters connected at the plate to register eight hits. Raven Chavanne led with three hits and two RBI to complement a strong appearance by Sara Nevins in the circle. Nevins totaled 6.1 innings but made way for Jessica Moore at the bottom of the sixth. When Moore loaded the bases, the Eagles brought on Henderson, who turned a double play with the bases loaded and no outs before Nevins reentered the game.

Philippines 4, Venezuela 7 | BOX SCORE | GameChanger Recap

Laxamana (catcher): 1-for-4, single, one RBI

Despite putting up four runs, including an RBI single by Laxamana, the Philippines dropped its final World Cup game to Venezuela. Laxamana was one of six Blu players to contribute to her squad's 10 hits on the day after tabbing a single at the top of the fifth to score Lorna Adorable. Jineth Pimentel led Venezuela with two hits and two RBIs, added to Ana Coscorrosa's 1-for-2 and three-RBI performance.


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