May 3, 2005
Senior utility player Kirin Kumar is off to her best season in a Georgia Tech uniform. Kumar is hitting over .300 for the first time in her career and has a career-high six doubles. She helped lead the Yellow Jackets to their first ACC regular-season title and top seed at the ACC Tournament, May 12-15, in College Park, Md.
What does it mean to the team to win the regular season ACC title?
Kumar: Accomplishment. That was one of our goals this year and we achieved it. We knew that it would be the first time for our school to win it, and it was that much more motivation. All of us worked hard to get to this point and winning the regular season title is just a step closer to our next goal in winning the ACC Tournament and then making it to the World Series.
This year, you have surpassed your previous three seasons offensively, and defensively, what has been the difference for you?
Kumar: The difference has come from a lot of different things. I went through a lot at the beginning of the year and I guess I just focused all my attention to softball to get me through and it’s paid off. I have been more relaxed and having more fun, especially offensively and just have learned a lot my last three seasons. The biggest difference is my stance; I am in a very relaxed position, when in the past I was very tight when hitting.
What does it mean for the seniors to beat Georgia in their final year?
Kumar: I can’t even explain the feeling and what it means. It was such a rush. Georgia is a great team and anytime you beat a great team its exciting, but there’s just something a little different when it comes to Georgia and beating them at their place. Everyone laid everything out that game and just brought back memories from last year’s win over Georgia in regionals and it just made it that much sweeter knowing it might be the last time that the seniors play them and we go out like that.
Senior Day is Monday against Troy, what does that day mean to you?
Kumar: Senior day means a lot and can’t be put into words. I know that I will tear up knowing it’s the end of something special. It’s the end of one great chapter in my life that I’ll never forget. It’s the last time I will ever play softball on Glenn Field. It’s been my home the past four years and lots of great memories will always be there for me to have.
Your class has been the winngest class in school history, what does that say about the seniors?
Kumar:The seniors have just adapted to everything around them. Starting with our freshman year we were ready to keep playing softball like we have in the past and keep winning like we did in high school. Ever since our freshman year, being one win away from the World Series, we know how that feels and want to do anything to get over that final hump. I think because the success of our freshman year, where everything came together, has brought the ability to bring in top recruiting classes. That success has turned this program around and the seniors have a hand in that turnaround.”
Tech is the top seed at the ACC Tournament for the first time in school history, how important is it to be the No. 1 seed?
Kumar: To be the number one seed in anything is a great accomplishment. It’s especially important for the ACC Softball Tournament because we have put ourselves in a great position to win it all. The road to win is only three games. While other teams are beating up on each other we will be resting and taking it one game a day.
You have finished taking classes and will graduate this coming weekend, what is the best and worst classes you’ve taken at Georgia Tech?
Kumar: The best classes at Tech for me were all the finance classes. I must have taken about four or five different finance classes and never got tired of them. I had great teachers and it was just fun to learn about that topic. I hate science and put those classes off every year. My two science classes in EAS (earth, atmosphere, and science) were my worse. Just no motivation or desire to go, but I knew I had to get through it to graduate.
List three or four of the greatest memories you’ve had on the diamond playing for the Yellow Jackets?
Kumar: There have been so many because the seniors this year have been a part of bringing up this program nationally. Winning the ACC Tournament in 2002, being accepted to the NCAA Tournament, and being ranked for the first time ever . Beating Georgia last year in Regionals to knock them in the loser bracket and beating them again this year, both at their place. For me personally on the field would have to be all of this year in general. The season is going great for the team and me personally.
You have played many different positions over the course of your career, including outfield, second base, third base and first base, what has been the biggest transition for you?
Kumar: Adjusting to the different positins here at Tech was difficult at first. Once I got comfortable at one position, I had to learn a new one, but I was always able to adapted. It’s been a lot of fun though. Knowing that I can help the team in anyway Coach E [Ehren Earleywine] needed me for. I went from the outfield, to third base, to second base, and now playing first base. The most difficult position to adapt to was third base. Definitly a hot corner, but I enjoyed it. Now being on the other side of the field, the ball comes off the bat differently and going from trying to get everything I could at third and letting the second baseman field most balls in that direction, definitly was the most difficult to adjust to. I’m just glad that I could help the team in anyway to achieve the goals we are shooting for.