June 17, 2011
BERKELEY - Despite sitting out the 2011 collegiate season with an injury, California softball's Valerie Arioto has not lost a step for the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball named her to the 2011 USA Softball Women's National Team. Arioto will spend her summer in various cities across North America playing softball.
"I'm happy to finally be back on the field!" Arioto said of her selection. "I'm thrilled that I get to return to the field in a USA uniform. I'm honored and grateful to get the opportunity to represent my country! This summer is going to be a lot of fun."
Arioto, along with teammate Jolene Henderson and 33 other players, spent the week in Chula Vista, Calif., trying out for the team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Things got underway June 13 with position drills followed by exhibition games all week. The athletes performed before the Women's National Team Selection Committee, which announced the 17-person roster with one alternate Friday.
A veteran of USA ball, Arioto is no stranger to summer competition after she helped lead the U.S. delegation to gold medals at the Japan Cup over the 2010 summer. She also played with the U.S. futures national team over the summer as well as in the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship.
The Pleasanton, Calif., product played in all 63 games for the Golden Bears in 2010 as a junior, pacing the team 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. Arioto finished the 2010 season with the Bears 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. She warranted placement on the ASA Top-50, Top-25 and Top-10 watch lists. Arioto was also named to the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American First Team and placed on the All-Pac-10 first team.
2011 USA Softball Women's National Team Schedule
2011 USA Softball Women's National Team Coaches
2011 USA Softball Women's National Team: