Miriam Schmoll’s arm extended toward the ground.
The fist pump accentuated her excitement.
Then she did it again.
It came at a pivotal juncture in Wednesday’s Class 5A-Region 3 quarterfinal for Bayshore High School’s softball team.
The Bruins held a 3-0 lead, but visiting Englewood Lemon Bay threatened with one out and a runner on third.
Schmoll, Bayshore’s ace pitcher who is heading to the University of South Florida next season, focused a bit more.
Two straight strikeouts silenced the Manta Rays’ rally.
They didn’t do much the remainder of the game, which lasted 1 hour, 21 minutes, and Bayshore earned itself a 3-0 victory to book a berth into next Tuesday’s regional semifinal.
“If we can get three runs, I feel good,” Bayshore head coach Frank Luther said. “If we get five, I’m comfortable.”
Bayshore (15-4) reached a regional final twice in its program history prior to Schmoll’s arrival to the school. She got them to a state semifinal her freshman season, before tearing her anterior cruciate ligament to cut short her sophomore season. Schmoll’s junior campaign ended with a state championship game loss.
Now in the twilight of her high school career, Schmoll asks her teammates — most of whom don’t play travel ball like her opponents Wednesday and each subsequent playoff round moving forward — to get her just one run.
Situations like that, I have to rely on my spins. I don’t really think about bringing as much power as I can, because power can only get you so far. So really just spinning the ball.
Bayshore senior pitcher Miriam Schmoll
“I can’t get you all the way,” said Schmoll about pitching with one run of offensive support.
Anna Albers obliged Schmoll’s request with a two-out single to right field to score Hailey Suave in the first inning.
Lemon Bay’s Brooke Kvaternick’s throwing error in the third inning allowed Maddy Ramirez (double) to score, and Suave scored when Schmoll doubled to the left field fence.
“I was like, ‘This is it; this is it,’ ” Schmoll said. “I just capitalized on it, and executed to my full potential.”
Three runs might as well have been a million, because Schmoll didn’t waver.
If we can get three runs, I feel good. If we get five, I'm comfortable.
Bayshore head coach Frank Luther
She ripped through Lemon Bay’s lineup with 15 strikeouts and allowed two hits.
Bayshore will next face the winner of the Sarasota Booker-Arcadia DeSoto game that was rained out Wednesday night and rescheduled for Thursday.
Manta Rays first baseman Kasi Shaffer, who plays travel ball with Schmoll, was responsible for the two hits off Bayshore’s ace. It was her double in the fourth inning that preceded her advancement to third base on a sacrifice.
Schmoll, though, struck out Aimee Holt and Kvaternick in succession to quell the danger.
That started a run of five consecutive strikeouts for Schmoll, who retired the side via a strikeout twice on Thursday: the fifth and seventh innings.
“Situations like that, I have to rely on my spins,” Schmoll said. “I don’t really think about bringing as much power as I can, because power can only get you so far. So really just spinning the ball.”
It produced her energetic fist pumps, which she said she doesn’t even know she’s doing.
“After I’m like, ‘Oh, my hands are there,’” Schmoll said.
The Bruins finished with five hits. Schmoll (2 for 3, double, RBI) had the lone multi-hit performance for Bayshore.