One of the biggest hallmarks of success is consistency.
Ashland University senior first baseman Kylie Asmus has been the picture of consistency – both on the field and in the classroom – in her three seasons with the Eagle softball program.
Through Wednesday (April 18), Asmus is slashing .324/.327/.453 in her third season as a starter at AU, and has career-highs of 12 doubles and 26 RBIs from the leadoff spot. Since the start of the 2017 season, Asmus has racked up 159 hits, 66 runs, 31 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 67 RBIs, and is slashing .335/.354/.444 – all while striking out just once every 17.6 at-bats.
Asmus has played 136 career games as an Eagle, and has at least one hit in 97 of those.
But perhaps Asmus' most impressive statistic comes from the grades spreadsheet, where she sports a 4.00 cumulative grade-point average as an Exercise Science major in her first five semesters on campus.
"Kylie is just one of those kids who is so reliable," said Ashland head softball coach Emlyn Knerem. "You want the bat in her hands. She comes up with the clutch hits, and she's a kid that you never worry about.
"We like her in that leadoff spot, because she's a kid that puts the ball in play. She's finding ways to get on base and moving runners around."
Said Asmus, "It was a different transition going into leadoff, because I usually had been 3 or 4 before, but, yeah, it's nice to set the tone for the team and be the spark."
Asmus' senior-season success has come despite missing most of the program's offseason work due to injury.
"I did not do anything in the fall, and I didn't start swinging full until February," Asmus noted. "It was a big transition going into it. I kind of just don't focus on mechanics and all that stuff. I just focus on seeing ball, hitting ball.
"I was off for eight months of doing absolutely nothing, just doing PT (physical training). It's worth it in the end."
How does a college student-athlete maintain such a high level of academic success? It depends on who you ask…
"It's pretty difficult," Asmus said. "I just have to realize that I really have to time-manage. I have to be able to devote time to studying, and I can't just goof around."
"The girls actually joke that she is the biggest procrastinator, that she stays up until all hours of the night and gets things done at the last minute," Knerem said. "Something's working for her. You want 15 Kylies on your team. She's a kid that we are going to be missing next year."
Asmus came to Ashland from NCAA Division III Ohio Northern, where she played for former Ashland All-American outfielder Sunny Litteral. A .425 average with 13 doubles, four homers and 38 RBIs led Asmus to earn 2016 Ohio Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year honors.
If there was any question that Asmus could be a productive NCAA Division II player, that was answered quickly, as she had back-to-back two-hit games in her second and third games at Ashland.
"Sunny was her head coach at Ohio Northern, and just sung her praises," said Knerem. "For Sunny to sing a kid's praises is a huge compliment, because Sunny knows players. Kylie has just shown at the D-II level. I'm confident that she could have started her career here and been just fine."
Said Asmus, "I really had not considered Ashland before then, but when the coach left and I met the program and met coach (Sheilah) Gulas, I just fell in love with it.
"It's (Division II) a little bit faster pace of game, and the pitching speed is a big difference."
Asmus and the Eagles have won 25 games this season (25-17 record), already more than a year ago (23). She is looking forward to potentially finishing her career reaching the Division II postseason for the first time.
"I'm just going up there, since I'm leadoff this year, trying to put the ball in play and trying to get on for my team, just trying to produce," Asmus said. "I feel like our seniors provide a lot of leadership. There's nine of us, so we're all contributing to the team.
"We're very excited to finish off conference play. Our main goal is to make it to regionals."