Tokyo Olympics

Local Stars to Watch as Softball Makes Its Return at the Tokyo Olympics

Team USA's softball squad features three players with ties to the greater Bay Area: Valerie Arioto, Ally Carda and Monica Abbott

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Tokyo Olympics have finally arrived.

While the Opening Ceremony doesn't happen until Friday, some competitions are getting underway a few days early, including softball, which is making its return to the Olympics following a decade-plus hiatus.

Team USA's quest for gold begins Tuesday night Pacific time with a matchup against Italy.

The American team features three players with ties to the greater Bay Area: infielder Valerie Arioto, pitcher/infielder Ally Carda and pitcher Monica Abbott.

Abbott was born in Santa Cruz and grew up in Salinas. She went to North Salinas High School and later starred at the University of Tennessee.

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, she helped Team USA capture the silver medal. She had a 0.29 ERA and 3-0 record during the 2008 games, striking out 32 batters in 24 innings of work.

She has also won three gold medals at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Championship.

Arioto hails from Pleasanton. She went to Foothill High School in Pleasanton before heading to nearby UC Berkeley for college.

She doesn't have any Olympic experience, due in large part to softball not being an Olympic sport since 2008, but she's been competing on the international stage for several years, having won four medals – two gold and two silver – at the WBSC World Championship between 2012 and 2018.

Carda grew up in Elk Grove outside Sacramento before attending UCLA.

She also doesn't have any Olympic experience, but she won a gold medal at the 2016 WBSC World Championship, among other international accomplishments.

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