Cal's Arioto Named to U.S. National Team
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - CALIFORNIA senior utility player Valerie Arioto was one of 12 athletes named to the 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced Wednesday. Former ARIZONA STATE outfielder Kaitlin Cochran and ARIZONA infielder Jenae Leles also earned spots on the team.
All athletes who have been named to the 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team helped Team USA to the Gold Medal at the 2011 World Cup of Softball in July in Oklahoma City and the 2011 Pan American Games in October in Guadalajara, Mexico.
An additional five athletes will be named to the squad, which will compete at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women's World Championship, following a 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team and USA Softball Women's Elite National Team Selection Camp in June.
In her rookie season with the USA Softball Women's National Team, Arioto started in 24 of 26 games played. At the plate, she was 21-for-57 (.368), hitting a team-high eight doubles, two triples and four home runs. She had 19 runs scored and 21 RBI.
Three Pac-12 players accepted invitations to try-out for one of five remaining spots on the team and the 2012 USA Softball Women's Elite National Team. ARIZONA STATE sophomore pitcher Dallas Escobedo, ARIZONA junior pitcher Kenzie Fowler and former UCLA pitcher/infielder Megan Langenfeld are among the group.
Throughout the spring, additional athletes will be invited to the June Selection Camp, at which the five remaining members of the 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team and the 17-athlete roster for the 2012 USA Softball Women's Elite National Team will be decided. Following the Selection Camp, members of both teams will play each other in exhibition games before beginning competition.
The Women's National Team will compete at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada, and the World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. The Women's Elite National Team will compete at the World University Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. Additional events may be added to the team schedules at a later date.