Arioto on the ASA Watch List for the 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

Jan. 28, 2009

Berkeley - Cal sophomore Valerie Arioto was named to the Amateur Softball Association of America's (ASA) initial 'Watch List' for the 8th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honors in Division I women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.

The 2009 Pre-Season Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 32 schools and 13 different NCAA Division I Conferences.

Last season as a freshman, Arioto was an All-Pac-10 second-team and NFCA All-Pacific Region second-team selection, and was named to the Fresno All-Regional team. She was the recipient of the Donna Terry Award (Team MVP) after playing and starting all 70 games, while leading the team in runs (55), hits (71), doubles (17), triples (4) and walks (48). Her 55 runs were the second most for a season in program history (record is 56 by Gillian Boxx, 1995) and 48 walks were the fifth most in a season. She ranked in the top-10 in several Pac-10 offensive categories: second in runs, fourth in hits, third in doubles, first in triples and second in walks.

The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 1. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a top 25 finalist. However, once the top 25 finalists are named the winner of the award will come from that list.

Just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 6. The final three finalists will be announced May 20 while the winner of the 2009 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2009 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Cal earned a No. 14 preseason ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll on Tuesday. Last week, Cal was ranked No. 17 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.

Cal begins the '09 campaign at the Cathedral City Kickoff, Feb. 6-8 in Palm Springs, Calif., and opens with the 13th-ranked Houston Cougars. The first home game is February 18 vs. Santa Clara.

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