COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — It was nearly four years ago that Valley softball standout Allison Smith helped lead Champion to a third-consecutive state title.

“It’s like the whole different perspective from when I was, like, a freshman in high school, like just trying to figure it out,” Smith said. “I’m a junior in college and it’s like, wow, like I spent 17 years of my life doing this and it’s all about to come to an end.”

That high school success followed her to the college ranks at Ohio State. Now a standout pitcher for the Buckeyes, the junior entered the week with the third-most strikeouts in the Big Ten.

She also tossed her first collegiate no-hitter last weekend in a win over Purdue.

“Pitching obviously has been like riding the highs for me,” admitted Smith. “So it was definitely one of the high points of my college career. But not to say that I couldn’t have done it like now, like I get the credit for the no-hitter, but it wasn’t just me.”

“My team got us out in five innings, like our offense showed up. Our defense played great behind me, like Coach Kelly called Great Pitches, you know what I mean? Like it was such a team effort. Like it was just like the stars all aligned and it just happened to work out that way.”

It’s success that Smith is hoping will lead the Buckeyes to their first Big Ten Championship since 2007.

“It would be huge,” Smith said. “Obviously, being a Buckeye my whole life, being from the state of Ohio. There’s nothing that would make me more proud to get to achieve those things. In an Ohio State uniform, I think it would be pretty unreal.”

Even with all of her success in the college ranks, Smith has not forgotten her softball roots in the Valley.

“I can’t thank everybody enough. I know there’s millions of families that reach out to me. There is people who are constantly watching and, like, it makes it so much easier and so much more enjoyable. Knowing that the people back home are, like, always proud. And that’s a big motivation of mine doing it for the little girls back in Champion or like doing it like to be a role model for those girls to show people that like. There’s a stigma that like it’s a Division three high school. You can’t go do big things. You can. You can go do big things.”