March 7, 2013
TUCSON - Arizona senior pitcher Kenzie Fowler has elected to redshirt the 2013 season to rehab her back, head coach Mike Candrea announced. Fowler, a Tucson native, had back surgery on Oct. 4, 2012, and has been recovering ever since.
"After meeting with Coach Candrea, I decided it was in my best interest and in the best interest of the program for me to redshirt this season," said Fowler.
Fowler had microscopic lumbar discectomy (MLD) surgery in October to relieve a herniated disc, an injury she pitched the entire 2012 season with. After her redshirt year, Fowler will return for a fifth season to pitch as a redshirt senior in 2014.
"We were very aware that it would be difficult to put a timeline on Kenzie's recovery and rehab from this type of surgery and I support and agree with her decision to redshirt this year," said Candrea. "Kenzie would like to be 100% healthy during her final year of competition and this decision will allow her the opportunity to be 100% and be able to contribute both offensively and in the circle during her final year of eligibility. As we approach the middle of our season and Kenzie has not been cleared by her doctor, this decision makes the most sense for her and our softball program. We are very excited and looking forward to Kenzie's full recovery and return to competition next year."
Fowler, an NFCA All-American as a freshman and sophomore, holds a 1.95 career ERA in 127 appearances as a Wildcat. As a freshman, the pitcher was one of 10 finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year and led Arizona to the Women's College World Series Championship Series. Fowler's 38 wins and 371 strikeouts in 2010 rank fourth and seventh, respectively, all-time at Arizona. Fowler has struck out 794 career batters, already sixth-most in Wildcat history and pitched 652.1 innings, ninth-most in program history.