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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Fowler suffers concussion; future status unknown

Koby+Gray+Upchurch+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ASoftball+University+of+Arizona+V+Washinton
Koby Gray Upchurch
Koby Gray Upchurch / Arizona Daily Wildcat Softball University of Arizona V Washinton

Sophomore pitcher Kenzie Fowler suffered a concussion on Sunday after being struck on the right side of her forehead by a foul ball during Arizona’s 6-1 victory against the Washington Huskies.

Fowler was taken to University Medical Center and was released Sunday evening. There is no scheduled timetable for her return to the field according to a release from Arizona Athletics.

“”It’s day by day,”” said head coach Mike Candrea on Monday. “”She’ll be evaluated daily, and when she’s healthy and able to go, they’ll let her. Until then, they’ll take precautions.””

Candrea did not say if Fowler would throw against ASU this weekend.

When the foul ball off the bat of designated player Nicole Bryan hit Fowler in the bottom of the third inning on Sunday, left fielder Brittany Lastrapes said Fowler took a moment to react.

“”It was almost like she was looking down and didn’t even know she got hit,”” said Lastrapes who was standing on the cement block in the Arizona dugout when the foul ball hit Fowler. “”She sits down in the corner and reads the scouting reports and stuff so I don’t think she even knew she got hit with the ball for the second.””

The foul ball flew just over the top of the chain link fence that other Wildcat players were leaning on and zeroed in on Arizona’s ace.

Fowler (21-6) left Hillenbrand Stadium with an icepack covering her face, and was taken to the Arizona clubhouse. She pitched three innings and had not given up a hit in the contest.

Bryan said that the freak accident shook her mentally through her at-bat.

“”I saw a couple of girls clear out and then I saw Kenzie sitting on the bench. And then I saw it hit her head,”” Bryan said. “”It was really hard for me to get that out of my mind to try to get back into my at-bat after taking down our pitcher.””

Freshman pitcher Shelby Babcock will most likely throw throughout the weekend, but Arizona doesn’t have any other pitchers on its roster.

Candrea went as far to say that Babcock’s viable backups would be first baseman Baillie Kirker or left fielder Brittany Lastrapes, neither of whom have ever pitched in their collegiate careers.

Babcock picked up two wins during the weekend, improving her record to 16-2.

She pitched four innings of relief for the Wildcats after Fowler went down with the injury and was successful at keeping the Huskies off the board until the seventh inning when she gave up three hits and one run.

While Candrea said he was impressed with her ability to perform on short notice, he said Babcock needed to focus on closing out innings.  

“”I just wish she’d learn not to make things interesting,”” Candrea said. “”I told her I’m going to blow a vein one of these days.””

Arizona hosts a three game series with ASU starting on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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