June 13, 2011
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - With barely a week off since the Women's College World Series, California's senior Valerie Arioto and sophomore Jolene Henderson are back to playing softball. The pair joined 33 other softball athletes at selection camp with hopes of making a spot on the 17-person roster for the 2011 USA Softball Women's National Team.
From June 12-16, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball will host the athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Kicking off Monday with position drills followed by exhibition games all week, the athletes will perform before the Women's National Team Selection Committee, that will announce the 17-person roster on Friday, June 17 at 9 a.m. PT.
The 17 athletes selected to the USA Softball roster will compete in six different events in three countries. Fans in the United States will get four opportunities to see the team in action with three exhibition stops scheduled as well as the World Cup of Softball VI, July 21-25, in Oklahoma City.
The 2011 Women's National Team will also participate in the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship July 9-17 in Surrey, B.C., Canada. This squad will later seek the program's eighth Pan American Championship title at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Oct. 17-23.
Arioto was sidelined with injury all season but still traveled with the team to all games and is looking to redshirt. A veteran of USA ball, she helped lead the U.S. delegation to gold medals at the Japan Cup over the 2010 summer and played with the U.S. futures national team over the summer as well as in the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship. In 2010 as a junior, she was named to the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American First Team and placed on the All-Pac-10 first team. The Pleasanton, Calif., product finished the 2010 season second in the country and first in the Pac-10 with 81 walks and was fourth in the Pac-10 and 31st in the nation with 19 homers. Playing in all 63 games, she paced the Bears in walks (81), homers (19) and runs (61) in addition to going 21-9 in the circle with a 1.43 ERA in 205.2 innings of work, allowing her batters to hit just .169, warranting her placement on the ASA Top-50, Top-25 and Top-10 watch lists
Henderson completed her sophomore season in outstanding fashion with a 0.99 ERA and a 40-10 record. Cal's go-to pitcher hurling 333.1 innings, the Elk Grove, Calif., native pitched 18 shutouts, two one-hitters, two no-hitters and one perfect game. She hurled 36 complete games all the while fanning 333 batters and limiting them to a .189 batting average. She was the Pac-10 Pitcher of the year - the second in Bear program history - and earned herself placement on the NFCA All-Pacific Region first team and the All-Pac-10 first team. The Conference gave her the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award five times and she earned NFCA Player of the Week accolade for the week of April 11. With the shutout win in the Louisville Regional championship game, Henderson became the all-time single-season wins leader, displacing Cal's first Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Kristina Thorson, who had 36 wins in 2006.
Selection Camp Roster