Camille Gaito of the No. 1 UC San Diego softball team earned the honor of California Collegiate Athletic Association Female Athlete of the Year, it was announced Tuesday by conference officials. Gaito becomes UC San Diego’s second straight and fourth student-athlete overall to be honored as the conference’s top women’s athlete.
The award is voted on by the 12-member institutions’ Sports Information Directors during their annual spring meeting.
Gaito, who was named the West Region’s Daktronics Pitcher of the Year and CCAA Pitcher of the Year, concluded her junior campaign with a 35-4 record, 0.75 ERA, 208 strikeouts and 32 complete games. She ranks second in the nation in wins, ERA and walks per seven innings (.60), while her ERA is the lowest of any pitcher in the country with more than 35 appearances.
The UC San Diego right-hander pitched every inning in the Tritons’ NCAA Tournament run, going 9-0 with nine complete games while striking out 62 and walking 11 in 67 innings. She was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the Finals after going 4-0 in Salem in route to the program’s first national championship.
Gaito became UC San Diego’s all-time leader in pitching victories when she recorded her 62nd in a win over C.W. Post in the opener of the NCAA Championship. She added three more to her total and will enter next season with 65 career victories.
The Tritons junior also established single-season UC San Diego records for wins (35), appearances (47), innings pitched (262.1), strikeouts (208), complete games (32) and saves (4).
UCSD ended the year as the No. 1 team in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for the first time in school history. The Tritons set a school record with 45 wins in 2011.
Gaito is the third softball player to earn CCAA Female Athlete of the Year, joining Kathy Slaten (Cal State Northridge, 1983-84) and Lizzy Prescott (Humboldt State, 2008-09).