Middleton lifts Marietta past Warren, 7-1

Had 10 strikeouts and three-run round-tripper

Photo by Mike Morrison Marietta’s Jillian Middleton winds up during the 7-1 win over Warren Tuesday night.

MARIETTA — Marietta pitcher Jillian Middleton had one of those games that she will likely remember for a long, long time.

The Tiger junior fired a complete-game three-hitter while fanning 10 and also slammed a three-run home run as Marietta downed the Warren Warriors 7-1 Tuesday night at Phillips Field.

Middleton was on her game from the very first pitch as she did not walk a single batter while keeping the Warren hitters off balance by masterfully changing speeds.

“We haven’t beat them for a long time so it felt really good,” said Middleton, who was proud to play a large role in giving the Tiger seniors their first win against Warren in their varsity careers.

“I was feeling great on the mound and I was very proud of our defense behind me. We’ve struggled on and off for awhile and it felt good to finally tie everything together.”

After Middleton set the Warriors down in order in the top of the first, the Tiger offense hung a three spot on Warren starting pitcher McKenzie Nelson to take the early lead.

Maddi Scharff and Hunter Welch got things going with back-to-back singles before Middleton reached base on an error to plate the first run of the game.

Some aggressive base running by the orange and black accounted for the second run when Welch scored from third on a Hannah Kroft groundout to the pitcher and Middleton scored on a ground-out by catcher Maya Farley.

Middleton did not allow a single hit until Olivia Shutts grounded a single between shortstop and third base in the top of the third inning and retired Warren in order in three of her seven innings in the circle.

The Tigers broke things wide open in the fourth and once again Middleton would be right in the middle of it.

Caitlyn Corpman got things started by drawing a one-out walk and after advancing to second and third on a pair of wild pitches came into score on an groundout off the bat of Holly Hill, who fouled off several pitches off of Warren reliever Diamond Decker before putting the ball in play.

Scharff reached base on an error and Welch collected her second hit of the game before Middleton cleared the bases with a long home run over the left-center field fence to give MHS a 7-0 lead.

“My first two times at-bat I kind of rolled over the ball but my third time I was ready,” said Middleton. “I’ve faced Diamond (Decker) all three years I have been here so I know what she throws. She hung a rise-ball and I was able to get it over.”

Warren finally scored a run in the top of the seventh when Decker doubled and came into score on a Marietta error but Middleton recovered to fan the final two hitters to end the game.

Marietta head coach John Doughty was quite pleased with his team’s efforts, led by his stand-out pitcher.

“The girls kind of feed off of Jillian and when she’s going well like she was tonight we seem to go well,” said Doughty, whose team improved to 5-9 with the win.

Warren slipped to 4-15 with the loss but first-year head coach Katie Dickson can see better days ahead for her young team.

The Tigers will also be back in action today when they travel to Meadowbrook.