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Cathi Aradi

USA Softball's Arioto WSF Sportswoman of the Year Finalist

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 Sportswoman 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 USA Softball Women's National Team to a gold medal at the 2014 General Tire World Cup of Softball IX in Irvine, Calif., and a silver medal over the weekend at the ISF World Championship in Haarlem, Netherlands. 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 percent) and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Awards Committee’s vote (50 percent). 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. Balloting has already begun, and fans can visit http://wspr.tc/VoteTeamSOY2014 to cast their vote for the Sportswoman of the Year award through 11:59 p.m ET 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 Sportswoman of the Year award include Lisa Fernandez (1994), Cat Osterman (2005), Monica Abbott (2007), and Jessica Mendoza (2008).

-- courtesy ASA/USA Softball