Sports

Softball Player of The Year Miriam Schmoll always stays one step ahead

Miriam Schmoll poses for her softball player of the year photograph in May 2016. Schmoll, a junior at Bayshore High School, is the area’s player of the year for the second time in three seasons.
Miriam Schmoll poses for her softball player of the year photograph in May 2016. Schmoll, a junior at Bayshore High School, is the area’s player of the year for the second time in three seasons. ttompkins@bradenton.com

Miriam Schmoll’s life is based on her belief attitude determines the outcome of every situation.

It enabled her to become a pitching phenom as a ninth-grader, to overcome a debilitating injury that forced her to miss nearly all of her sophomore season and to come back even better in her junior year.

Her attitude atop an abundance of talent is a reason Schmoll has been named the 2016 Bradenton Herald Softball Player of The Year for the second time in three seasons.

The Bayshore right-hander was nearly a one-person team, carrying the Bruins to the Class 5A State Championship game with dominating pitching and timely hitting.

Schmoll, who turned 17 on June 7, has always tried to stay one step ahead whether it’s playing softball and living life. She already has accumulated 30 college credits and will spend her senior year of high school attending the State College of Florida where she is on pace to get her associate’s degree before she attends the University of South Florida to play softball.

Sitting out nearly her entire sophomore year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee and going through a rigorous rehabilitation program was one the toughest things Schmoll has had to deal with, she said. She used the experience to become a better pitcher and person.

“The whole experience gave me a different perspective on the game, relationships in life and everything in general,” Schmoll said. “I learned the way you look at things is very important and how your attitude determines the outcome of every situation. It made me start to work on the mental side of things. I realized if you can control the mental part, things will come a lot easier.”

Schmoll exceeded her freshman year with a dominating 2016 in which she compiled a 0.29 ERA, struck out 206 batters in 120 innings, led the Bruins with 27 RBIs and compiled a .585 batting average. Before taking any credit, she thanks her teammates.

Her father and Bayshore pitching coach Shawn Schmoll said his daughter used the experience to become a smarter and better pitcher and bring her game to a new level.

“The whole ACL tear and coming back from that and my teammates rallying behind me was something I will never forget and I am very thankful for. It was incredible,” the younger Schmoll said.

Just as she was proactive with her academics, on pace to finish nearly two years of college before completing high school, Schmoll also looked at the future of her softball career and is now prepared for anything though pitching for USF is still a major goal for her.

“Everything I went through put things in perspective that one day softball will end for me, and I want to cherish every pitch that I throw, every bat I get up there to take and never take the game for granted,” Schmoll said. “When I wasn’t able to pitch, I did arm movements all the way through rehab so I never really lost where I should release the pitch or how to throw a pitch. It made the transition a lot easier when I was able to come back and pitch.”

Schmoll’s arsenal of pitches include a rise, drop, curve, knuckle change and curve change. She will be working on improving the change this summer when she travels across the country with the Sarasota Heat.

“I should’ve used it a lot more last season, but I didn’t trust it very much. Right now, in travel ball that is mainly what I am working on and using it in two-strike situations even with a runner on third base,” Schmoll said. “I like our pitches and how me and my dad set them up. They were pretty solid and got us through the season successfully, but maybe the outcome would’ve been different if I had used the change up more.”

It’s another thing for opposing batters to worry about.

All-area schedule

June 16: Boys tennis

June 17: Girls tennis

June 18: Softball

June 19: Baseball

June 21: Boys track

June 22: Girls track

June 23: boys weightlifting

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