Even in the chase for those school softball records she doesn't already own, Collinsville senior Kassidy Smith continues to prioritize her team goals above her own.
Smith already has eclipsed the Kahok career record for home runs this season and still has her sites set on the single-season mark. She's also within reach of the all-time record for walks, doubles, hits and runs.
But, says her coach Dan Toberman, Smith's unselfishness during a double header against Roxana Saturday paints a truer picture of the kind of player the slugging catcher really is.
Smith had a single and collected and RBIs with sacrifice flies on three consecutive plate appearances by the time the second game reached the third inning. She was standing on deck with two runners on when she motioned to her coach.
"She asked me if it was a good time for her to try a bunt," Toberman said. "I don't want to dismiss any possibilities or ideas, but I told her it would probably be best if she just swing away."
Smith hit the first pitch she saw over the fence for No. 7 on the year and 28 of her career. The double she laced in her next at-bat was the 33rd of her career, which tied another school record.
She finished the day 3-for-5, five RBIs, three sacrifice flies and zero bunts.
It's always been my dream to play in D-I, but even if that didn't work out I would have been happy just about anywhere else as long as I could get my education and keep playing the sport I love.
Kassidy Smith, Collinsville softball’s all-time home run leader
"Kass is a coach's dream. Not only is she the best athlete, she's the hardest worker and legitimately the nicest kid in the world," said Toberman. "I told my assistant you could coach another 30 years and not see another one like her."
Toberman can back that up with the Collinsville record book.
Through Thursday's game against Edwardsville, Smith is hitting .405 with 17 runs batted in this season. She has an on-base percentage of .569 thanks to her 13 walks against just two strikeouts.
With five more walks, she'll catch Collinsville record holder Brandy Hedger. With 22 more hits, she'll reach Kate Mayes' record of 176 in her career.
All of this was news to Smith, who didn't even know about the home run record until she broke it.
" I hit one and my mom ran after the ball. I asked her why she ran so fast to get it," Smith said. "She told me 'you just broke the home run record' and I was like 'no way.' I try hard not to worry about that stuff and just try to focus on playing and having a good time.
"Don't get me wrong, it was a really cool feeling knowing that I had reached that accomplishment. It's gratifying because it makes me feel like my hard work is going toward something and paying off."
The home runs have slowed down this season as the walks have mounted.
28 Home runs Kassidy Smith has hit in her high school career at Collinsville
20The old record previously held by Haily Jones
Smith hit home runs in each of her first three at-bats in a first-week double header at Lebanon, then was intentionally passed her next three times at the plate.
"It looks like the word is out," Toberman said with a laugh.
Some state colleges got the message, too. Smith received scholarship offers to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Northern Illinois and McKendree. Nothing was offered, however, from from Notre Dame, Missouri and some of the Big Ten Conference universities she approached.
But Smith was spotted during a tournament in Georgia with her summer team, the Collinsville Extreme, by Coastal Carolina coach Kelley Green and an assistant. It was a whirlwind courtship that paired Smith with the Division-I school in South Carolina, less than 10 miles from Myrtle Beach.
"Our tournament was in November and I got a text message from her on the way home," Smith said. "It was crazy how it all happened from there. I went on my visit Dec. 5 and I committed Dec. 21. I did not waste any time. I absolutely fell in love with the school, the program, the coaches, the location ... everything."
Not only is she the best athlete, she's the hardest worker and legitimately the nicest kid in the world. I told my assistant you could coach another 30 years and not see another one like her.
Dan Toberman, Collinsville softball coach
Academic scholarships are part of Smith's deal with Coastal Carolina. In a class of 496 students, she ranks No. 25 and plans eventually to attend medical school.
The Kahoks have not had a stellar season in the Southwestern Conference. Their record dropped to 7-13 with their 7-0 loss to Edwardsville Thursday.
That's not necessarily a disappointment to Smith, who believes her team is improving and can be a factor at the Collinsville Regional.
In the meantime, she just trying to enjoy her final games as a high school player.
"This is my last year and I have a very nostalgic feeling. All the people who have helped me a long the way are still very much a part of my life. It is unbelievable how many of them there are," she said. "I'm also really close to these girls and we're having a lot of fun.
"It's always been my dream to play in D-I, but even if that didn't work out I would have been happy just about anywhere else as long as I could get my education and keep playing the sport I love."