Arioto Named to ASA Top-50 Watch List for the 2010 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

Jan. 27, 2010

BERKELEY - California softball junior Valerie Arioto was selected to the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)'s initial watch list for the ninth 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. Arioto, who is an alternate for the U.S. senior national team, earned placement on the list last year as well.

'It's a nice honor for Valerie,' Cal head coach Diane Ninemire said. 'She's definitely one of the top players in the country.'

Arioto, who pulls double duty as a pitcher and first baseman for the Bears, was the second-leading hitter on the team with a .325 average with a .425 on-base percentage in 2009. As a sophomore last season, Arioto was a first-team All-Pac-10 and first team All-Pacific Region selection and earned third-team NFCA All-American and second-team Easton All-American honors.

In early January, Arioto attended the 2010 Softball Women's National Team Selection Camp and was recently named an alternate to the national team. Prior to her recent involvement with the senior squad, the Pleasanton, Calif., native was part of the USA Softball squad that earned the gold medal at the Japan Cup in Sendai City over the summer. Arioto hit a solo home run against Chinese Taipei, and had an RBI in the first meeting against Japan, getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the first run of the game.

'She had a great experience with the USA team and has grown here at Cal as a player,' Ninemire said. 'Hopefully, she will have more opportunities in the future to play for the U.S. and continue her great strides as a player and leader for our own program.'

The 2010 Preseason Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 35 schools and 14 different NCAA Division I Conferences. The list includes 27 seniors, 17 juniors and six sophomores. Past winners of this award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden, three-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman, Tennessee's Monica Abbott, Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher and 2009 winner Washington pitcher/hitter Danielle Lawrie.

The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 7. A player does not have to appear on this 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. Freshmen qualify for the top-25 list once they have competed at the collegiate level.

Just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 12. The final three finalists will be announced May 26 while the winner of the 2010 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2010 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

2010 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List

Name (School) - Year - Position - HometownValerie Arioto (California) - Junior - Utility - Pleasanton, Calif.Donna Bourgeois (ULL) - Junior - Pitcher - Lafayette, La.Chelsea Bramlett (Mississippi State) - Senior - Catcher/Infield - Cordova, Tenn.Stephanie Brombacher (Florida) - Junior - Pitcher - Pembroke Pines, Fla.Neena Bryant (Oregon) -Senior - Outfield - Placentia, Calif.Anna Cahn (Cal Poly) - Junior - Pitcher/Designated Player - Los Alamitos, Calif.Whitney Canion (Baylor) - Sophomore - Pitcher - Aledo, TexasStacie Chambers (Arizona) - RS-Junior - Catcher - Glendale, Ariz.Lauren Delaney (Northwestern) - Senior - Pitcher - Jefferson City, Mo.Krista Donnenwirth (Arizona State) - Junior - SS/Third Base - Mission Viejo, Calif.Kelsi Dunne (Alabama) - Junior - Pitcher - Port Orange, Fla.Francesca Enea (Florida) - Senior - Outfield - Woodland Hills, Calif.Amber Flores (Oklahoma) - Senior - Infield - Calexico, Calif.Alisa Goler (Georgia) - Junior - Infield - Frankfort, Ill.Kelly Grieve (Tennessee) - Junior -Outfield -Asheville, N.C.Alissa Haber (Stanford) - Senior  - Outfield- Newark, Calif.Sarah Hamilton (Florida State) - Junior - Pitcher - Tallahassee, Fla.Ashley Hansen (Stanford) - Sophomore - Infield - Chandler, Ariz.Becca Heteniak (DePaul) - Senior  - Pitcher - Simi Valley, Calif.Katie Holverson (Nevada) - Senior - Pitcher - Anthem, Ariz.Tiffany Huff (Tennessee) - Senior - Catcher/First Base - Saugus, Calif.Molly Johnson (Kentucky) - Senior -Infield - Tucson, Ariz.Megan Langenfeld (UCLA) - Senior - Pitcher/First Base - Bakersfield, Calif.Brittany Lastrapes (Arizona) - Junior - Outfield - Laguna Niguel, Calif.Danielle Lawrie (Washington) - Senior - Pitcher - Langley, British ColumbiaSam Marder (Ohio State) - Senior - Catcher - Calabasas, Calif.Morgan Melloh (Fresno State) - Junior - Pitcher - Fishers, Ind.Rachel Mitchell (LSU) - Senior - Outfield - LaPorte, TexasAdrienne Monka (Northwestern) - Sophomore - Infield - Rancho Cucamongo, Calif.Charlotte Morgan (Alabama) - Senior - Pitcher/Utility - Moreno Valley, Calif.Nikki Nemitz (Michigan) - Senior - Pitcher - St. Clair Shores, Mich.Carly Normandin (Massachusetts) - Senior - Outfield - Gardner, Mass.Tara Oltman (Creighton) - Senior - Pitcher - Cortland, Neb.Kimi Pohlman (Washington) - Sophomore - Outfield -  Sammamish, Wash.Nikki Prier (Jacksonville State) - Senior - Infield - Raleigh, N.C.Jessica Purcell-Fitu (BYU) - Junior - Catcher - Walnut, Calif.Melissa Roth (Louisville) - Senior - Catcher - Long Beach, Calif.Katie Schroeder (UCLA) - Junior - Outfield - Yorba Linda, Calif.Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) - Junior - Pitcher/Outfield - West Hills, Calif.Kirsten Shortridge (LSU) - Senior - Pitcher/Outfield- Keller, TexasKaila Shull (UCLA) -Senior - Catcher/Outfield - Lodi, Calif.Danielle Spaulding (North Carolina) - Senior - First Base/Pitcher - Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.Rhea Taylor (Missouri) - Junior - Outfield - Buford, Ga.Chelsea Thomas (Missouri) - Sophomore - Utility - Pleasantville, IowaBrooke Turner (Long Beach State) - Junior  - Pitcher - Buena Park, Calif.Maggie Viefhaus (Michigan)  - Senior - Infielder - Pacific, Mo.Kristen Wadwell (Louisville) - Senior - Pitcher/Infield - Sydney, AustraliaAmberley Waits (Louisiana Tech) - Senior - Infield - Cleburne, TexasKelsi Weseman (Georgia Tech) - Sophomore - Infield - Hutto, TexasJen Yee (Georgia Tech) - Senior - Second Base - North Delta, British Columbia  
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