Liberty alum Kenzie Friesen completes first pro season
A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Friesen earned her first professional playing experience, competing for the Canadian Wild of the Southern Illinois in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). The Canadian Wild roster was comprised of members of the Canadian Women’s National Team.
Team Canada is currently competing in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. From Aug. 25-Sept. 1, the team will playing in the 2019 WBSC Americas Olympic Qualifier in Surrey, B.C., where they will aim for a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Being in the league we had so much opportunity to be challenged daily by other great ballplayers,” Friesen said. “The team feels ready and prepared for both the Pan Am Games and the Americas Qualifier taking place at the end of the summer. I did not make the shortened rosters for those events but am confident in the girls who were chosen. I felt I improved again this summer and was thrilled as always to be able to represent my country. I love representing my country, I love to pitch, and I love playing softball alongside my best friends every night. I just feel so privileged to be able to do this.”
While not a member of the 15-player team competing at the Pan American Games and Olympic Qualifiers this month, Friesen continues to train for future opportunities for international competition with Team Canada. These include next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Friesen is the first Liberty alum since Jessica Moore to compete for an NPF team, as Moore played during the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Washington Glory.
The Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois finished their inaugural season in the NPF with a 22-19-1 record, ending up third in the final league standings. Friesen finished the season with a 1-1 record and a 2.33 ERA in five appearances, earning her first professional win on July 25 in a 4-1 victory over the Aussie Peppers.
“I am thankful as always for the support from Liberty University, and most importantly my family back home,” Friesen added. “My dad, mom, brother, sister, and brother-in-law are always supporting me and encouraging me throughout this journey. Like most things, it’s not easy, but it’s worth every second of bullpens and training.”
The Saskatoon native finished her Liberty playing career with a 24-16 overall record, sporting a 3.29 ERA with 14 complete games, six shutouts, 129 strikeouts and a .248 opponents’ batting average in 257.2 innings pitched. Friesen pitched her best as a redshirt senior in 2017, posting a 15-3 record with a 2.16 ERA. Her .833 winning percentage led all Big South pitchers, while her ERA was second. Friesen, a Big South All-Conference and VaSID All-State second team pitcher, was named 2017 Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She also earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.
Friesen recently completed her second year of doctoral studies at Auburn, where she serves as a graduate assistant on the softball staff. While at Auburn, she is pursuing a PhD in biomechanics. Friesen earned her master’s in exercise science from Liberty in 2017.