Former Foothill High and UC Berkeley standout Valerie Arioto earned a spot on the USA Softball Women's National Team, it was announced June 22.

Arioto and her 16 teammates will prepare for a series of tournaments, including the World Cup of Softball and ISF Women's World Championship, beginning in July. The selection camp had 24 players.

Arioto, who finished her career as the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Senior CLASS Award winner, begins her fourth consecutive run with the national team. Unlike in previous seasons, Arioto will be able to focus on playing first base during her time on defense thanks to a roster stacked with talented pitchers, including former Cal teammate Jolene Henderson. Like Arioto, Henderson was also an All-American along with a two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and winningest pitcher in Cal history.

Team USA's summer schedule begins with exhibition games July 2-3 in West Virginia. Competition opens July 7-12 at the World Cup IX in Irvine, before the Eagles head to Surrey, B.C., Canada for the Canadian Open Fastpitch International July 15-21.

The team will compete in one more set of exhibition games stateside on July 29 in Maryland, then travel to Azzano, Italy to partake in Italian Softball Week Aug. 6-10.

Team USA caps off its run with the ISF Women's World Championship in Haarlem, Netherlands Aug. 12-24.

Baseball

Granada High graduate Casey Soltis signed with the Miami Marlins on June 18 for a reported $450,000.


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Soltis, an outfielder, had a scholarship to Oregon but was the first East Bay high school player taken in this year's MLB Draft, chosen in the fifth round by the Marlins earier this month.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Soltis was the 137th overall selection. This season for the Matadors, he hit .353 with a .472 on-base percentage, scored 27 runs and had 16 RBIs in 26 games.

Rowing

The East Bay's Oakland Strokes had success at the U.S. Rowing Junior Nationals from June 13-15 at Lake Natoma in Folsom.

Oakland Strokes was one of 133 rowing clubs and over 1,800 athletes competing from around the country and earned medals in the three most coveted races.

Both the women's varsity 8+ and women's lightweight 8+ won the gold medal in their respective races. The men's varsity 8+ took silver.

The varsity women's 8+ boat includes Elizabeth Elmgren (Oakland Tech), Tara Bozzini (Acalanes), Jennifer Mundelius (Monte Vista), Abby Vare (St. Mary's), Coxswain Margaret Ross (Miramonte), Evelyn McManus (Miramonte), Olivia Klinkenberg (Acalanes), Marie Johnson (Miramonte) and Lindy Clute (Carondelet).

The lightweight women's 8+ boat features Jenny Hosler (Piedmont), Maddie Boxer (Piedmont), Margaret O'Dell (Miramonte), Alessandra Lucas (Acalanes), Coxswain Gray Strandberg (Bishop O'Dowd), Madelynn Prendergast (Head Royce), Alanah Anderson (Piedmont), Elizabeth Hofinga (Miramonte) and Jillian Lundstrom (Miramonte).

Members of the varsity men's 8+ are Daniel Hogan (De La Salle), Kevin Chang (Bentley), Marshall Krock (Monte Vista), Christian Cuellar (Alameda), Coxswain Hannah Christopher (Miramonte), Josef Starc (Oakland Tech), Alexandr Lilichenko (Miramonte), Viggo Hoite (Berkeley), David Parker (Bentley School).

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