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Arizona pitcher Kenzie Fowler to undergo back surgery

Kenzie Fowler finished last season with a 15-9 record. Photo by Mark Evans, TucsonCitizen.com

Arizona Wildcats senior pitcher Kenzie Fowler will undergo back surgery on Oct. 4 but is expected to be recover in time for the 2013 season, UA announced Friday.

Fowler, who has had a myriad of health problems through her career, has been bothered by back pain, as well as leg and foot numbness for the past nine months, which includes the 2012 season. She will undergo a microscopic lumbar discectomy for a herniated disc.

Fowler was a first-team All-American as a freshman in 2010, helping the Wildcats advance to the championship round of the Women’s College World Series. She was a second-team All-American in 2011 but struggled last season while dealing with the back problems.

Fowler was 15-9 last season with a 2.85 ERA. She is 79-27 in her career, with a 1.95 ERA and 794 strikeouts in 652 2/3 innings.

The Wildcats have more options in the circle this season, starting with junior Shelby Babcock, who was 21-10 with a 3.02 ERA in 2012. Arizona also welcomes highly touted freshman Nancy Bowling and Estela Pinon, from Yavapai Junior College and Sunnyside High School.

Arizona will begin its fall schedule Oct. 7 with a home doubleheader against Yavapai and Eastern Arizona College, beginning at 3 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.

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