San Diego State softball head coach Kathy Van Wyk announced Thursday that the program has added Samantha Camello and Ashley Ercolano to its roster. The duo will join the Aztecs for the fall semester. “Both Samantha and Ashley will add a great deal of talent to their positions,” Van Wyk said. “Coming in as juniors, they will add collegiate experience as well.”
A native of Temecula, Calif., Camello spent the past two seasons (2013-14) at Texas Tech, where she started all 110 games (76 games at shortstop, 34 at second base) as the Red Raiders went 65-45. Over her career, Camello has batted .298 with three home runs, 38 RBIs, 65 runs, 15 doubles, three triples and 13 stolen bases. She hit .311 with 19 RBIs and 34 runs as a freshman in 2013 and .284 with 19 RBIs and 31 runs last year. Samantha Camello is the younger sister of Jessica Camello, who lettered four years with the Aztecs from 2008-11. The elder Camello ranks in a tie for 10th all-time at SDSU in runs (86) and singles (115), while batting .312 over 172 career games and 147 starts.
Camello played her prep ball at Temecula Valley High School., where she led the Golden Bears to the playoffs in each of her final three seasons, including a trip to the CIF Division II finals in 2010. Camello, who hit .408 as a senior and .470 as a junior, played her travel ball for The Next Level.
“We recruited Samantha out of high school and let her get away,” Van Wyk said. “She had two outstanding seasons in the Big 12, one of the top conferences in the country. I’m looking forward to watching Sam and Monica (Downey) in tandem up the middle.”
A local product from Poway, Calif., Ercolano played two years (2013-14) at UC Riverside as a pitcher and designated player, where she played in 108 of the team’s 109 games, starting 107 times. In the circle, Ercolano is 10-14 with a 5.17 ERA and a save over 174 2/3 innings. She has totaled 64 strikeouts with one shutout to her credit. At the plate, Ercolano has hit .267 with 12 home runs, 48 RBIs, 32 runs, nine doubles and two stolen bases, posting a .416 slugging percentage. After batting .240 with five homers and 27 RBIs as a freshman in 2013, she hit .295 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs last year.
Prior to joining the Highlanders, Ercolano starred at Poway High School, where she helped the Titans capture the 2011 Palomar League title. That year, Poway was 21-7 overall and 8-2 in league play. Additionally, Ercolano played her club ball with the California Cruisers.
“Ashley pitched against us at UC Riverside and beat us two years ago,” Van Wyk said. “It only made sense to get her on our side. I’m excited to see what she can do over her final two seasons.”
San Diego State finished with a 40-19 record in 2014, winning its third consecutive Mountain West championship and seventh in the 15-year history of the league, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the seventh consecutive season. The Aztecs’ 40 victories were the fourth most in program history and most since winning a school-record 44 times in 2008. SDSU also finished the 2014 campaign with seven school records, including batting average (.301), on-base percentage (.397), runs (301), hits (467), RBIs (270), walks (226) and times hit by pitch (30).