When Kenzie Fowler is pitching, runs are tough to come by for any opponent.
When her production at the plate matches that of her pitching, she becomes nearly unbeatable.
Fowler allowed two hits, struck out 14 batters and smacked a pair of home runs to lead Canyon del Oro to a 4-0 win over Sierra Vista Buena in the championship game of the Dorado Classic on Saturday.
“I just go up there and try to get a good pitch. Luckily, I got two,” said Fowler, the 2008 Gatorade National Player of the Year who has already signed to pitch next year at the University of Arizona. “We had to adjust to (Buena pitcher) Carissa (Youngblood), who moved (her pitches) around really well. It took us a little while to jump on it and we finally did (in the third inning).”
The game was a pitchers dual through the first two innings. That changed in the third when, with two runners on, Fowler sent a Youngblood pitch over the left-centerfield fence to give her team a 3-0 lead. She added a second home run, a solo shot over the rightfield wall, in the fifth inning.
“She becomes more relaxed when she is in the field with a lead,” said CDO coach Amy Swiderski. “It gives her confidence in her pitching.”
Buena’s two hits came when Meghan McIntosh legged out a bunt and her fellow University of Wisconsin signee, Shannel Blackshear, doubled in the seventh.
Fowler picked up 12 of her 14 strikeouts over the last four innings.
“It’s really exciting to catch her because she works really hard,” said freshman catcher Sammi Noland, who picked up her first high school home run in a game earlier in the day. “Our whole team got a few hits and it really helped us relax. This gives us confidence and we just have to make sure we continue to work hard through the rest of the season.”