OKLAHOMA CITY - The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today that Californias Valerie Arioto was named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for the week of May 7-13. Not only did the Pleasanton, Calif. native slug .800 with a .636 on-base percentage and a perfect fielding percentage, the senior was also named the Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week after helping lead top-ranked California to its second outright Pac-12 title and first since 1987.
Im incredibly honored to have been chosen out of all the great players across the country for this very prestigious award, said Arioto. This is so much more a team award than it is an individual award for me. We couldnt have won on Friday without the five runs the team scored and the incredible defense that my teammates played behind me.
Going into the three-game series with No. 2 Arizona State, California needed two wins to capture the Pac-12 Conference Title. In game one, after the Bears battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game, Arioto unleashed a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Sun Devils, 4-2. The win put the Bears one victory away from the Pac-12 title. In game two, Arioto produced from the circle pitching seven innings of shutout work, striking out 11 batters and giving up just one walk in a 5-0 shutout victory. Her performance helped the Golden Bears to their Pac-12 Championship while improving her record in the circle to 20-2 for the year.
We are tremendously proud of Valerie, said Head Coach Diane Ninemire. For her to cap off her regular season with a walk-off home run and a Pac-12 title is just fantastic. Fridays win was a complete team effort.
This is the second USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honor for Arioto this season as she garnered the award in week one as well. This marks the fifth time this season that a Pac-12 player has been earned the award. Ariotos selection comes just a week after the Golden Bear was named a finalist for 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year which will be revealed on May 29 prior to the start of the NCAA Womens College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City.
2012 USA Softball Collegiate Players of the Week
Week 1 (Feb. 9-12): Valerie Arioto - California - Redshirt senior - Utility Pleasanton, Calif.
Week 2 (Feb. 13-19): Christi Orgeron ULL Senior Utility New Orleans, La.
Week 3 (Feb. 20-26):Teagan Gerhart Stanford Junior Pitcher Norco, Calif.
Week 4 (Feb. 27-March 4): Jessica Cooley Mississippi State Junior Outfielder Birmingham, Ala.
Week 5 (March 5-11): Sara Nevins South Florida Sophomore Pitcher - Pinellas Park, Fla.
Week 6 (March 12-18): Kaitlin Inglesby Washington Sophomore Pitcher/Designated player Portland, Ore.
Week 7 (March 19-25): Michelle Moultrie Florida Senior Outfielder Jacksonville, Fla.
Week 8 (March 26- April 1): Kirsten Verdun DePaul Sophomore Pitcher/1B Coal City, Ill.
Week 9 (April 2-8, 2012): Ashley Fleming Missouri Senior Outfielder Silex, Mo.
Week 10 (April 9-15, 2012): Stephany LaRosa UCLA Freshman Third Base Diamond Bar, Calif.
Week 11 (April 16-22, 2012): Hayley Miles San Diego State Sophomore Shortstop Antelope, Calif.
Week 12 (April 23-29, 2012): Raven Chavanne Tennessee Junior Third Base Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Week 13 (April 30-May 6, 2012): Jenna Caira Syracuse Senior Pitcher - Toronto, Ontario
Week 14 (May 7-13, 2012): Valerie Arioto - California - Redshirt senior - Utility Pleasanton, Calif.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nations largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 200,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
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