The Class 4A state champion was 14-0 on the mound with a 0.40 ERA, striking out 157 batters in 87 innings pitched, allowing 35 hits and 13 walks.
Winning and statewide honors are becoming tradition at Woodinville. For the second time in school history, Gatorade selected a player from the Falcons’ softball program as its Player of the Year for the state of Washington.
Taylor Rhinehart, a right-handed pitcher, is this year’s honoree. Rhinehart was on the mound to guide the Falcons to the Class 4A state championship in May and a No. 4 national ranking by USA Today and MaxPreps.
Woodinville (26-0) was undefeated this season, Rhinehart going 14-0 with a 0.40 ERA and two saves. She struck out 157 batters in 87 innings pitched and only allowed 35 hits, issuing 13 walks. At the plate, the KingCo MVP batted .417 with eight doubles, 26 RBI and a .643 slugging percentage.
“Taylor is the complete deal,” said Puyallup coach Tony Batinovich, whose team lost to Woodinville for the title. “Mentally, nothing appeared to phase her. She puts a whole lot of spin and movement on the ball. They would not be the same without her.”
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Rhinehart graduated with a 3.79 GPA and will play softball at Villanova this fall.
As Washington’s Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, Rhinehart is a finalist for the national award. A $1,000 grant will also be donated to the organization of Rhinehart’s choice in her honor.
Rhinehart joins University of Washington pitcher Madi Schreyer as Woodinville’s past winner of the Gatorade award. Schreyer helped lead the Falcons to a state championship in 2012.
Other notable past state Gatorade softball award-winners include Catherine Osterman (2001, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2010, Kansas), Carley Hoover (2013, South Carolina), Jenna Lilley (2013, Ohio), and Rachel Garcia (2015, California).