Arioto Selected as a Top-25 Finalist for 2010 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

April 8, 2010

BERKELEY - California softball junior Valerie Arioto made the cut for the top-25 finalists for the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)'s 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. The winner will be chosen from the list of 25 finalists and will be announced at the opening of the NCAA 2010 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Of the 25 players on the list, eight of them play in the Pac-10. Arizona's Kenzie Fowler and Brittany Lastrapes, Teagan Gerhart and Alissa Haber of Stanford, Arioto, UCLA's Megan Langenfeld, and from Washington, Jenn Salling and last year's award recipient, Danielle Lawrie, round out the eight.

Arioto excels on both sides of the diamond for the Bears as a hitter and their top pitcher. As of April 8, Arioto is fourth on the sqwuad with a .361 batting average. She has also earned a Pac-10-leading 46 walks. The Pleasanton, Calif., native also paced her squad slugging .759 and with her .588 on-base percentage.

In the circle, Arioto continues to be a work horse for the Bears, pitching 129.0 innings. Boasting a 1.03 ERA, Arioto has limited her opponents to just a .148 batting average while striking out 189.

The Top-25 list represents 20 schools and seven different NCAA Division I Conferences. The list is comprised of 10 seniors, seven juniors, one sophomore and seven freshmen. The 2010 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be chosen from the 25 finalists.

Just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 12. The three finalists will be announced May 26th while the winner of the 2010 USA Softball 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 Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 FinalistsValerie Arioto (California) - Junior - Utility - Pleasanton, Calif. Chelsea Bramlett (Mississippi State) - Senior - Catcher/Infield - Cordova, Tenn.*Kayla Braud (Alabama) -Freshman - Infielder - Eugene, Ore.*Raven Chavanne (Tennessee) - Freshman - Third Base/Outfield -Thousand Oaks, Calif.Francesca Enea (Florida) - Senior - Outfield - Woodland Hills, Calif.Amber Flores (Oklahoma) - Senior - Infield - Calexico, Calif.*Kenzie Fowler (Arizona) - Freshman - Pitcher - Tucson, Ariz.*Teagan Gerhart (Stanford) - Freshman - Pitcher/Infielder - Norco, Calif.Alissa Haber (Stanford) - Senior  - Outfield- Newark, Calif.Sarah Hamilton (Florida State) - Junior - Pitcher - Tallahassee, Fla.Megan Langenfeld (UCLA) - Senior - Pitcher/First Base - Bakersfield, Calif.Brittany Lastrapes (Arizona) - Junior - Outfield - Laguna Niguel, Calif.Danielle Lawrie (Washington) - Senior - Pitcher - Langley, B.C.*Blaire Luna (Texas) - Freshman - Pitcher - Austin, Texas* Jen Mineau (Fordham) - Sophomore - Pitcher - Schaghticoke, N.Y.*Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) - Freshman - Pitcher - San Jose, Calif.Melissa Roth (Louisville) - Senior - Catcher - Long Beach, Calif.*Hope Rush (Georgia Tech) - Freshman - Pitcher/DP - Stockbridge, Ga.Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) - Junior - Pitcher/Outfield - West Hills, Calif.Kirsten Shortridge (LSU) - Senior - Pitcher/Outfield- Keller, Texas*Jenn Salling (Washington) - Junior - Infield - Port Coquitlam, B.C.Danielle Spaulding (North Carolina) - Senior - First Base/Pitcher - Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.*Jordan Taylor (Michigan) - Junior - Pitcher - Valencia, Calif.Rhea Taylor (Missouri) - Junior - Outfield - Buford, Ga.Jen Yee (Georgia Tech) - Senior - Second Base - North Delta, B.C.*Was not on Top 50 Watch list