Caitlyn Taylor’s scars are still tender. The skin on her upper legs is thin where her wounds were sewn together by two doctors; one doctor working on each leg.

It took over 120 stitches to close the deep tears above her knee and along both thighs.

Last April, a 7 to 7 ½ foot-long bull shark attacked the Louisville, Kentucky, resident in the Gulf near the SunDestin Beach Resort & Hotel.

Taylor, who was 17 at the time, was in town for a week-long softball tournament and her team decided to spend their down time relaxing on the beach.

She waded out into waist-deep water when Taylor heard her friends on the shore yell “fin!”

She thought they were telling her a dolphin was swimming nearby, but instead, she saw the outline of a large shark as a wave crested towards her.

Taylor tried to swim faster towards the beach, but the shark was quick, and it grabbed her by both legs.

“She didn’t feel the bite, she just felt the pressure,” said Caitlyn’s mother, Tracey Taylor. “That’s when she started punching it. It was like instinct took over. She had nicks on her fingers from where they hit the shark’s teeth.”

Taylor backstroked to shore, her legs dripping blood in the sand.

“I remember all the crazy emotions that I had; those moments where you think you’re going to lose your child,” said Tracey. “It was a surreal day. I look back on it with pride for my daughter that she was able to get out of a situation that not many people get out of.”

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office told the Taylors that Caitlyn was the fourth shark attack victim in 135 years.

After the attack, Caitlyn’s main goal was to heal and move on with her life.

Her scars still garner stares and gasps of disbelief, and she’s known by opponent softball teams for her shark bite story.

“She’s got scars of the shark’s upper and lower jaw, but as far as being able to play softball again, she’s totally healthy,” Tracey said.

Just a few months after her stitches were removed, Caitlyn was back swimming in the ocean at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during another softball tournament.

“She always said she wasn’t going to let the attack scare her,” Tracey said.

In commemoration of surviving the attack, Caitlyn asked her parents if she could get a shark tattoo. Tracey said they always told her “no” regarding tattoos unless it was meaningful and memorable.

“We said 'Sure, absolutely.' That’s memorable,” said Tracey.

Caitlyn plans to get the shark tattoo this summer after graduation. She was offered a scholarship to play softball at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, in the fall.