ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Kenzie Fowler
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, A big part of CDO's 11-0 start, both offensively and defensively, is returning senior Kenzie Fowler, the 2008 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year.

The Canyon Del Oro women’s softball team is on a roll.

The Dorados are 11-0, and have outscored opponents a mind-boggling 111-1 in 2009.

A big part of that, both offensively and defensively, is returning senior Kenzie Fowler, the 2008 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year. Fowler has picked up where she left off last season, shutting down opposing hitters. In a perfect 14-0 win against Palo Verde on March 6, Fowler allowed three hits. The senior, who last season had a 0.28 ERA and a .448 batting average, is committed to play at the University of Arizona after graduation.

Fowler is as important off the field as she is on it, according to CDO head coach Amy Swiderski. Fowler and the team’s other seniors “have strong character, and help get everyone ready to play.” Taking care of business in the classroom is also a priority for Fowler, who finished her junior year with a 3.93 grade point average.

While Fowler and the Dorados look toward a second consecutive state championship in 2009, it is easy to forget that in 2007, things looked much more dire for the future Wildcat. That year, at age 16, Fowler had to undergo life-threatening surgery for a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome, a medical issue that limits blood flow between the collarbone and rib cage.

The surgery was a success; Fowler’s fastballs can top 70 mph, and she’s got an explosive bat, too.

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