CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It was a peculiar sight when TCU's Keaton Jones yanked a Harrison Musgrave pitch to left-center in the Big 12 Championships last Friday.
Jones motored around the bases for a leadoff triple in the fifth inning of what turned out to be a 10-3 win for West Virginia.
It was the first extra-base hit allowed by WVU's Musgrave, a Bridgeport native and the Big 12's Pitcher of the Year, since March 29 against New Orleans. Musgrave had faced 210 batters in nearly two months without anyone muscling up enough to take at least two bags on one base knock.
That is dominant. But, around the Mountain State lately, it's something baseball fans are used to seeing.
If the Mountaineers' season is finished - they went 2-1 in pool play at the Big 12 Championships, but Kansas won three games in three days to advance to Sunday's title game against Oklahoma - the left-handed Musgrave will finish 9-1 with a 2.17 earned run average.
In three May starts the former Notre Dame and Bridgeport high school star had a 1.57 ERA, 0.83 WHIP (walks-hits per innings pitched) and struck out 30 in 23 innings. He threw 394 pitches in those starts, an average of 131.3 per outing.
Marshall softball hurler Andi Williamson might roll her eyes at that last sentence after she fired 463 pitches in three games ... in a two-day span.
Williamson, a Chapmanville High School grad and Harts native, went 33-18 with a 1.93 ERA this season. She finished in the top three nationally in wins and strikeouts and, like Musgrave, got stronger in the twilight of the season.
In the Thundering Herd's final five games - two in the Conference USA Tournament and three in the NCAA Tournament - Williamson had a 0.68 ERA. In the Herd's 26-hour stay in the NCAA Regionals in Lexington, Ky., earlier this month, Williamson tossed 26 2/3 innings. No relief necessary.
Your jaw should be dropped, so might as well stuff a Memorial Day slaw dog in there.
This isn't slow-pitch softball. This sportswriter watched Williamson dealing on ESPN3 and she was routinely in the mid-60s, according to the radar gun. The pitching circle in softball is 43 feet from home plate - as opposed to 60 feet, 6 inches in baseball - which makes Williamson's offerings the equivalent of a low-90s fastball in baseball.
No wonder she is Marshall's all-time leader in strikeouts.
Those state natives might be done baffling hitters, but the West Virginia Power's Tyler Glasnow is just getting started. The sinewy and precocious hurler has a career strikeout rate higher than Minor League Baseball's all-time record holder in that category.