Golden Nuggets: Valerie Arioto, Jolene Henderson Lead Team USA to Gold at the World Cup of Softball

Mike Ehrmann

All you need to dominate the world is a couple of Cal alumni.

While the rest of the world may have been watching that other World Cup, former Cal softball superstars Valerie Arioto and Jolene Henderson propelled Team USA to gold at the World Cup of Softball.

California softball standouts Valerie Arioto (2008-12) and Jolene Henderson (2010-13) turned in dominant performances to help the U.S. Women’s National Team capture gold at the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX on Sunday in Irvine, Calif. Team USA went a perfect 7-0 at the tournament, while Canada (5-2) finished second and Chinese Taipei (4-3) took bronze. Rising sophomore Alleah Laxamana and her Philippines (RP Blu Girls) squad finished seventh with a 1-6 record.

Arioto shined among the star-studded Red, White and Blue lineup, as the USA Softball veteran turned in a 6-for-15 (.400 batting average) performance at the plate to lead Team USA with five home runs, 12 RBIs and seven runs scored through the entire tournament.

Fellow All-American Henderson logged 14.1 innings in the circle, earning credit for the wins against Venezuela and Mexico. The ace offered up only seven hits, two earned runs and a walk while striking out 10.

Look at those stats again: Arioto hit a home run on 5 of her 6 hits.  That's incredible.

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