Marietta High ace Jillian Middleton named first team All-Ohio
Jillian Middleton will be getting an opportunity to see a little bit of the country this summer.
The 17-year-old Marietta High softball pitcher hurls for the 16U Outlaws Premier-Lucas ballclub, which is scheduled to play in the Scenic City Tournament in Chattanooga, Tn., today through Sunday.
Ohio Outlaws is a travel softball organization.
Later this month, Middleton and her teammates will be competing in fastpitch tourneys in Aurora, Colo.,and in July, they will be in Atlanta, Ga., and Spartanburg, S.C.
Middleton is the only member on the 11-player roster from Washington County. But two of her teammates are from Wood County, W.Va. — catcher/third baseman Emily Allen of PHS and outfielder Aurora Slusher of Parkersburg South.
Middleton is coming off another all-state spring at Marietta. After earning All-Ohio Division I second team honors as sophomore, she followed that up this season with a first-team selection, along with Southeast District Player of the Year and East Central Ohio League honors.
“I’m kind of shocked in a way,” said Middleton, laughing. “Because my stats were actually better last year. But I’m really excited and honored to be recognized.”
As the starting pitcher, Middleton helped the Tigers post a 10-14 overall record. In seven of those 10 team wins, she was the pitcher of record.
Overall, in the circle, the right-handed-throwing Middleton struck out 144, walked 25, and had a 2.66 ERA. In one hard-luck, 13-inning game against New Philadelphia, she fanned 20 — and lost.
“Jillian’s a hard worker,” said MHS skipper John Doughty. “She’s also a leader on the field.
“When she played well, the team played well.”
Middleton was also good at helping her own cause at the plate. The Tigers’ top hitter, she batted .447 (34-76) with six home runs, 13 doubles, two triples, and 26 runs-batted-in. She had an on base percentage (OBP) of .482.
“She’s one of a kind,” Doughty said.
When Middleton, who’s been playing softball since she was 6-years-old, was asked whether she preferred pitching or hitting more, she never hesitated with a reply, “Pitching.”
“I just like competing against the batter,” she added. “But I’ll play wherever the coach puts me.”
After graduating from MHS in the spring of 2020, Middleton is planning to play at the collegiate level. Where that will be is too early to tell. She after all has one more season in the circle as a Tiger.
“Jillian has put a lot of time and effort into softball, and it shows on the field,” Doughty said.
In the classroom, Middleton owns a 3.0 GPA, and she says her favorite subjects are history and math.
Middleton is the daughter of Kevin and Darcy Middleton of Marietta.