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USF softball’s Alexis Buchman, an Alonso High alumnus, has brain tumor

The multi-positional speedster announced she will have surgery in the coming weeks.
USF softball player Alexis Buchman, who starred at Alonso and Steinbrenner high schools, announced on Tuesday she'll soon undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor.
USF softball player Alexis Buchman, who starred at Alonso and Steinbrenner high schools, announced on Tuesday she'll soon undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor. [ MARY HOLT | USF Athletics ]
Published Sep. 8, 2021

A USF program highly familiar with medical adversity is being forced to stare it down again.

Bulls softball reserve Alexis Buchman, who starred at Alonso and Steinbrenner during her prep career, announced Tuesday via Twitter that she’s set to undergo surgery in the coming weeks to have a brain tumor removed. The mass has not been diagnosed as cancer, she said.

“At the end of July, I noticed that my left hand was numb and tingly,” Buchman said in a five-paragraph statement distributed on USF’s official softball Twitter account.

“After multiple doctors’ visits in the last few weeks, I have been found to have a mass on my brain. ... I won’t back down from this battle, and with all of you on my side, I know this is something from which I can emerge stronger.”

A criminology major, Buchman is described by Bulls coach Ken Eriksen as funny, passionate for the sport, a fabulous teammate and “one of the best natural base runners we have ever had.” She is capable of playing third base, shortstop, second base and all outfield spots, her coach added.

A 2019 Alonso High graduate, she appeared in only 11 total games over the past two seasons, but is just starting to enter what Eriksen called her “confident” years.

“Alexis is such a positive person that during challenges like this, her outlook brings people together,” Eriksen said in a statement released by USF. “She is a huge part of our Bulls family and we are not only in her corner during this bout, but also out front with her, providing support.”

A USF Athletics spokesperson said Tuesday evening that Buchman asks anyone wishing to offer a financial donation to give to the Moffitt Cancer Center or The Stroke Center (affiliated with USF Health) because of their roles in helping her reach a diagnosis.

Tuesday’s news comes five years after another promising young Bulls softball player, Meredith Bissette, was diagnosed with a baseball-sized pelvic tumor that ended her softball career. Bissette recovered, but was diagnosed with a very rare condition that led to E. coli meningitis earlier this year.

In the spring of 2008, Bulls pitcher Cristi Ecks (a married mom of one who now goes by Cristi Krawczyk) collapsed in the pitching circle with no pulse. Ecks was resuscitated and fully recovered, posting a sub-2.00 ERA as a senior the following season.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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