The softball season is over before conference play begins. Jolene Henderson (hip injury) joins Val Arioto on the "out-for-the-season" list. Jamia Reid also is still out & unable to play. I don't know that I have the stomach to watch 15-25 runs scored in the Pac 8 against the frosh duo that got humiliated vs UOP. Thank God that the five inning mercy rules exists.
I cannot recall any other Pac 10 softball team that didn't put quality pitching on the mound. This is by far the weakest pitching that any conference team has featured. Since Cal is *all pitch* & very little hit-it's going to be pitiful.
Yesterday-the women's bball had their top scorer in 2009 & 2010, Danesha Stallworth, a 6'3" McDonald's AA, from Pinole Valley HS, request her release to transfer! She received it. Is Cal sports cursed or what is the deal? The men's bball team lost their #2 recruit, Gary Franklin, from Mater Dei HS-Santa Ana to open the conference season with his request to transfer...Fortunately, his huge ego was not missed and the team came together & played better than when he was there. Addition by subtraction. GO BEARS!
I just wanted to share with you some stats that I dredged up last weekend regarding Val Arioto & UCLA. I'm too chicken to put something this negative on a gal nominated as one of the top ten college softball players in the country.
Arioto is a very good player but does not consistently dominate in the circle nor does she hit with power enough in the clutch to be "great". Today, she struckout w/ the bases loaded and walked three times. I'm happy that she swung at least. I have noticed that she is really a patient hitter and typically swings once in an AB.
UCLA has pitched around her all three years of her Cal career. Val has a .125 BA% vs the Bruins while also carrying a .400 OB%. Arioto has one single each season over the three games that the rivals play. Arioto has never had an extra-base hit vs UCLA. She's 3 for 24plus 11 walks. She has two RBIs after three seasons. She also has yielded big homeruns late in several losses this season. The opposition seems to be able to time her finesse stuff about the third time through the batting order...
If Jolene Henderson has enough stuff, she obviously has more heart & "killer instinct" than VA as a pitcher. I hope that Arioto makes a conscious effort to be more aggressive as a hitter. Maybe she can have a senior season like Megan Langenfeld hitting in excess of .510 w/ an OB% over .600. GO BEARS!