Prep softball | Bayshore rides freshman pitcher to region softball final

adell@bradenton.comApril 30, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Miriam Schmoll has a huge arsenal of pitches that she can draw from.

The freshman used them all in pitching host Bayshore to a 3-1 victory over St. Petersburg Lakewood Tuesday night in a Class 5A-Region 3 softball semifinal game.

The triumph sends the Bruins to their second straight region final Friday when they will be home against Wauchula Hardee. Bayshore has never won a region final and last year was the first time it advanced to the title game.

It might seem like a lot of pressure to put-on Schmoll, but the right hander seems to thrive in those circumstances.

"I've been playing the game since I was 5, and play travel ball most of the year," Schmoll said. "This is pressure, but it's exhilarating. It's a game I just love to play and it's fun."

She gave up two hits, walked one and struck out the side in the final inning to finish off a night where she fanned 10 batters. She used a fastball, changeup that caught a lot of hitters off stride and a knuckleball.

"Miriam is amazing and we have a defense that makes pitching a lot easier for her. She gets on the mound and does what she loves to do," Bayshore head coach Frank Luther said. "Tonight, we were not at our best executing. We hit well enough to win this game, but it will get tougher the further we go. The girls hung in there and didn't break down."

A walk and an error led to Lakewood's only run, which came in the top for the first. Schmoll retired the side in order in the second, fourth and seventh innings, and did not allow a runner past second the rest of the way.

All of Bayshore's runs were unearned.

The Bruins faced senior Mariah Watts, who came into the game with a 0.15 ERA and had struck out 154 in 92 innings. Schmoll came into the game with a 1.43 ERA and had 178 strikeouts in 112 2/3 innings.

Bayshore picked up two in the bottom of the first. LaShara James reached on an error and JoJo Muldoon walked. They both stole a base and came home on an infield error.

Bayshore scored its final run in the third when Muldoon singled, stole second and scored on an infield throwing error.

The teams have been up and down against each other this season. Lakewood (15-12) came back from a 9-3 deficit to beat Bayshore during the regular season, but the Bruins prevailed in the district final.

"Tonight we were going against the best pitcher we've faced all year. We knew she was going to be tough and we were just trying to get people on, play small ball and move them," Luther said. "We didn't execute like I wanted to but we executed well enough to get it done."

The victory boosts Bayshore's record to 22-4, which is the best in the history of the program.

"Friday is going to be a chance to complete our goal, which is make it further than we did the last time. We are right where we want to be this year and will be prepared," Luther said.

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