How do you match perfection? After sending down 21 Arcadia batters in a row on March 14, Kristie Chin '11 came close to throwing a perfect game again last Sunday. In Chin's five scoreless innings of work against St. Peter's, she gave up no hits and allowed only one walk.
After 26 2/3 innings this season as a starter and a reliever, Chin sports a 3-0 record and a 0.79 ERA. Her stellar ERA and .132 opponent batting average top all Ivy pitchers. In light of her second consecutive gem, Chin has been named The Herald's Athlete of The Week.
Herald: Your first two years on the team, you went 1-3, but now you can't lose. What's been the difference?
Chin: This year, I think we have more consistent defense and our offense has been really pulling through. As far as my pitching goes, I've narrowed my scope of my pitches, and I try to focus on one or two and mix up my speeds.
You've given up zero hits in 12 innings as a starting pitcher this year. So are you done coming in as a reliever?
I'm just going to keep working whenever my team needs me.
Is (the curveball) your strikeout pitch or is it the fastball?
Probably my curveball, mostly. I'm more of a movement pitcher, whereas the other girls have a lot more speed.
How much fun are you having concentrating in civil engineering and being a varsity athlete?
I'm actually having a lot of fun. I'm doing civil engineering and architectural studies. I really try to mix both the science and the humanities perspectives.
Just like the fastball and the curveball.
Yep, there you go.
Take us to the seventh inning of that Arcadia game. Are you aware that you're three batters away from a perfect game? What's going through your mind?
I was mostly trying to forget. I just tried to put that out of my mind, take it inning by inning, pitch by pitch.
Were your teammates staying away from you on the bench?
They weren't speaking of it. They didn't want to jinx it or anything.
Was your coach (DeeDee Enabenter-Omidiji) saying anything to you?
Not to me, specifically. She asked one of the other coaches, "So are there any hits? No? Shh, don't say anything. Are there any walks? No? Don't say anything."
Why did you trade in the sunniness of Texas to come play in Rhode Island?
I love Texas and everything, but I've lived there most of my whole life, so I really wanted to see what else was out there. ... I like the fall, but I don't know if the four seasons are worth the winter.
Have you been getting used to pitching in the cold?
I get a lot colder a lot faster. My body thinks the best way to deal with it is to go numb.
Are the northern kids tougher than the southern kids when it comes to (cold weather)?
I'll put up a pretty good fight.
You won Ivy League Pitcher of the Week last week, and the week before, your teammate Liz DiMascio ('13) did the same. Where do you think Brown's pitching staff is going to be among the Ivies this year?
I think we have a very strong staff this year. There's four of us. We have a very good mix of speeds and different pitches, and I think that flexibility is really going to help us out in the long run. We'll be able to keep teams off balance and really work the batters.
The Ivy season starts for you April 2. Both Brown and Cornell have 10 non-conference wins right now. Do you think it's going to be a battle to the finish between these two teams?
For me, I always enjoy playing Cornell. I feel like they're a very competitive school and they always bring a great game, so hopefully we'll be able to bring our best this year.
I know they won (ECAC) men's hockey (and) they're in the Sweet 16 of men's basketball — Hopefully, we can take them down a notch in softball.
Have you thought about life after graduation?
I'd like to go to grad school for architecture and eventually become a licensed architect and then, a Ph.D. somewhere in there.
It doesn't sound like as much fun as softball.
Not at all. I'm really going to miss competing, I think. I'll try to at least play pickup or might even try and coach a little bit.
Would you want to go back to Texas eventually?
Eventually. I really miss the South. I mainly miss the sunshine.
Do you have a favorite thing back home to eat?
I'll eat it all, but I'm a big fan of brisket — get a barbecue baked potato with chopped brisket on top.
When I think of good barbecue sports, I don't think softball.
You're going to the wrong softball parks.
Really? There's good brisket at softball games?
In Texas, you go to any concession stand, they got barbecue going, they have chopped brisket, sausage on a stick.
Have you tried United BBQ?
I haven't tried any barbecue up here actually.
There's a whole vegan section (on the menu). They don't really have that in Texas, do they?
No. We don't cater to vegans or vegetarians very much, which is kind of unfortunate because our coach really likes Logan's Texas Roadhouse. We'll go there and kids will end up having to order the side of broccoli, hold the bacon.
Have you found any good country music out here?
I just do Pandora, but I'm a big fan of old country music, none of that Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift stuff, Carrie Underwood. That's pop.
So you don't like Taylor Swift?
Her stuff's OK, but she's singing about the same thing over and over. There's only so many teenage high school dramas you can go through.
What's the rest of country music about, though?
Drinkin', heartache, livin' life.