Adding to her impressive list of accolades in her four years with Riverview, Sharks pitcher Beth DiPietro recently was named the Gatorade state player of the year.
She is the first softball player in the county to win the 18-year-old award.
"It's a tremendous honor, both for Beth and for our program," Riverview coach Angela Slater said. "For her to be recognized as such makes all the hours and hours of practice, and all the fussing and grumbling and all the summers she dedicated, all worth it."
DiPietro was selected by a Gatorade panel and the National Media Advisory Board. She went 23-4 with a 0.23 ERA and struck out 271.
"I didn't know about the award before this," DiPietro said. "It still hasn't really hit me."
In her career, she went 78-16 and struck out 980. During her junior year, she struck out 28 in one game, which was mentioned in Sports Illustrated.
She also led the Sharks with a .391 batting average and had a .997 fielding percentage.
After committing to Auburn in the fall, DiPietro led the Sharks to the Class 6A state final, where they lost 3-2 to Miami Palmetto. The Sharks won titles in 2000 and 2002.
DiPietro joins a list of athletes who have won their state's Gatorade award in their sports that includes the Lakers' Kobe Bryant (1996), NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith and Lisa Leslie (1990) of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.
Along with 50 players from other states and the District of Columbia, DiPietro is a finalist for the national player of the year award, which is expected to be announced this week.