VAL Arioto

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HOMETOWN: Pleasanton, CA    
BIRTHDAY: April 10, 1989    
COLLEGE: Cal Berkeley   
EQUIPMENT: Wilson Custom 2020 A2000 MC24, DeMarini Custom 2020 FNX Rising [-9], DeMarini CF Batting Glove, and Evoshield XGT Batting Glove

Go one-on-one with VAL

VAL Arioto

What's your go-to walk-up song?

We didn't have them because Coach Eriksen doesn't usually have us do walk-up songs. He's more about team unity and that's kind of what our team concept is; there's no differentiation. We're all just one unit doing it together, which has always been our theory on everything. But when I did have a walk-up song it was Valerie by Amy Winehouse. It’s fitting I guess.

What's one thing the entire team has in common?

Selflessness. I think we were all chosen because we all come in selflessly and do whatever the team needs done. That’s how we believe we’re gonna win and stay together. It’s not really a common concept among teams.

VAL Arioto & Aso

Do you remember where you were when you found out about getting in the olympics?

On a softball field, of course. I was helping a youth team in Southern California and they had the live-streaming of it and you know I went to my own little corner so I could watch to see if we got in. There have been so many ups and downs and emotions that came with not being in the Olympics. Working through the times when we weren’t (an Olympic sport), we didn’t have funding and were trying to make a living. There are all of these different aspects you don’t think about once you’re back on the field - which is a good thing. Once we realized (softball was back in the Olympics) it hit me that it was all worth it. Even being in now and not in 2024, it’s still worth it. Playing for my country is why I do it.

VAL Arioto

What advice would you give young players?

Because it’s our careers and we’re all playing at a high level, Coach Eriksen always reminds us to just have fun. He always reminds us when it’s getting too serious. It’s true that we need to relax. The sooner you’re playing relaxed, the sooner you’re playing your best. That’s what’s unique about our team. We just love to have fun. The time on the field and on the bus together, it’s all laughs and we just get along.

Have fun and do things, besides mechanics, to stay athletic. Think about the mental game and do the little things that get you to the next level.

VAL Arioto

What's your go-to walk-up song?

We didn't have them because Coach Eriksen doesn't usually have us do walk-up songs. He's more about team unity and that's kind of what our team concept is; there's no differentiation. We're all just one unit doing it together, which has always been our theory on everything. But when I did have a walk-up song it was Valerie by Amy Winehouse. It’s fitting I guess.

What's one thing the entire team has in common?

Selflessness. I think we were all chosen because we all come in selflessly and do whatever the team needs done. That’s how we believe we’re gonna win and stay together. It’s not really a common concept among teams.

VAL Arioto & Aso

Do you remember where you were when you found out about getting in the olympics?

On a softball field, of course. I was helping a youth team in Southern California and they had the live-streaming of it and you know I went to my own little corner so I could watch to see if we got in. There have been so many ups and downs and emotions that came with not being in the Olympics. Working through the times when we weren’t (an Olympic sport), we didn’t have funding and were trying to make a living. There are all of these different aspects you don’t think about once you’re back on the field - which is a good thing. Once we realized (softball was back in the Olympics) it hit me that it was all worth it. Even being in now and not in 2024, it’s still worth it. Playing for my country is why I do it.

VAL Arioto

What advice would you give young players?

Because it’s our careers and we’re all playing at a high level, Coach Eriksen always reminds us to just have fun. He always reminds us when it’s getting too serious. It’s true that we need to relax. The sooner you’re playing relaxed, the sooner you’re playing your best. That’s what’s unique about our team. We just love to have fun. The time on the field and on the bus together, it’s all laughs and we just get along.

Have fun and do things, besides mechanics, to stay athletic. Think about the mental game and do the little things that get you to the next level.

VAL’s JOURNEY TO TOKYO

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