Carley Hoover hadn't been dwelling on the Gatorade South Carolina Softball Player of the Year award, but she knew of its significance.
"Awards like that, you don't ever expect to win, so it's cool to actually win one," Hoover, Daniel High School's pitcher, said Wednesday after having been announced as this year's winner. "That's like the highest honor you can get in the state."
Hoover, who has committed to Stanford University, led Daniel to a 25-7 record and Class AAA state runner-up finish in 2012.
Hoover posted a 16-4 record on the mound, with an 0.50 ERA and 296 strikeouts in 1382/3 innings, and she batted .475, with seven home runs and 34 runs scored.
"Not too many people know the extent of what Carley does to get better and improve every year," said Daniel coach Kate Floyd, a Gatorade award winner in 1999 as a senior at Ridge View High School.
"She's a true competitor. Every practice, every drill, she wants to make sure it's serving a purpose. She loves the game, loves the competition and is always improving her game."
Hoover made the most of somewhat limited opportunities at the plate. Floyd said Hoover set a national record by being walked 59 times.
According to the National Federation of High Schools record book, Shelby Holley of Pisgah, Ala., set the previous record of 55 in 2011. Floyd said she sent Hoover's total to the South Carolina High School League so that it may be passed on to the national level.
"What's so amazing about it is because of the few games we play here in the East as opposed to the West, for any girl to break a national record in South Carolina is very difficult," Floyd said. "So for that record to be going to the national federation is pretty impressive."
The Gatorade award recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and community service. Hoover, who maintains a 3.69 grade-point average and is the president-elect of her class, has volunteered locally delivering food to the needy and coaching youth softball players.