July 5, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY - Last week, recent graduate Valerie Arioto and current Golden Bear Britt Vonk returned to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, but it was not to don the Blue & Gold of the University of California. Instead, Arioto had USA emblazoned on her Red, White & Blue jersey and Vonk sported the orange of the Netherlands at the World Cup of Softball.
Arioto led the Americans to gold with a perfect 6-0 record while Vonk and the Dutch took fourth. Both Bears now head to Canada for the World Championships.
"It was a great honor and an amazing experience to play in the World Cup this year," Vonk said. "It was great to play against these high-ranked teams before we go off to Canada to participate in the World Championships!"
Arioto and Vonk squared off in the Pink Out game on June 30, when the U.S. beat the Netherlands 2-1 with ursine pair both playing first base for their respective companies. In that game, Vonk tallied two of the five Dutch hits.
After the Dutch scored in the top of the fifth, the U.S. responded by scoring an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning. With the game knotted 1-1, Arioto led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot to put the Americans up for good.
"It was a little strange to see Val on the other side of the field not beside me," Vonk said. "I am so proud of herand happy to see her doing so well!"