OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball Women’s National Team first baseman Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) has been selected as a finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswomen of the Year award in the team sport category the Women’s Sports Foundation announced today. A member of the USA Softball Women's National Team since 2011, Arioto was selected based on her achievements between August 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014.
Arioto helped Team USA capture a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games Qualifier in August 2013, where she batted .500 with five home runs, 18 RBI and 13 runs scored. Most recently, Arioto helped lead the 2014 USA Softball Women's National Team to a Gold Medal at the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX in Irvine, Calif. The University of California - Berkley grad turned in a .400 performance at the plate, sending five balls out of the park to record 12 RBI while scoring seven runs. Arioto finished the General Tire World Cup IX with a 1.400 slugging percentage and a 1.926 on-base percentage.
A two-time USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year, Arioto also earned a silver medal at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International this past July where she continued to shine in the batter's box. Arioto compiled a .474 batting average with five home runs, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored.
The Sportswoman of the Year award winners will be determined by a combination of a public vote (50%) and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Awards Committee’s vote (50%). The winners will be the two athletes – one individual sport finalist and one team sport finalist – who receive the highest combined share of a public vote and the Awards Committee vote. Voting has already begun, and fans can visit http://wspr.tc/VoteTeamSOY2014 to cast their vote for the Sportswoman of the Year award. Fan voting will conclude on September 8.
The winner in each category will be invited to attend the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 15 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, where they will accept their awards.
Past USA Softball Women’s National Team members who have won the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswomen of the Year award include Lisa Fernandez (1994), Cat Osterman (2005), Monica Abbott (2007), and Jessica Mendoza (2008).
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 nation’s 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 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 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 six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com.