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USF softball player dies after more than two-year battle with brain cancer

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Former University of South Florida softball player and Tampa native Alexis Buchman passed away Thursday morning after a more than two-year battle with brain cancer, the university announced.

“It is devastating to lose a teammate, friend, and beloved member of our Bulls family,” USF softball head coach Ken Eriksen said. “Alexis was a light in all the lives she touched and was truly courageous and inspiring in her fight. Our thoughts and prayers are with her parents, Steven and Kris, and family. We were blessed to have Alexis in our lives and to learn from her example of grace and determination. Her memory will long live within our program.”

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“Today is a very sad day for USF Athletics and the Tampa Bay community as we have lost far too soon a member of our Bulls family whose courage and resilience inspired all of us,” USF Vice President for Athletics Michael Kelly said. “Alexis Buchman’s light shined brightly even in the most trying of times. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends and all whose lives she touched.”

According to USF, the 22-year-old was diagnosed with brain cancer in the fall of 2021 after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. The school said Buchman “inspired the Tampa Bay community” during her battle.

Throughout her diagnosis and treatment, Buchman was active on the softball team and even served as a student manager through the 2023 season. She first joined the team in 2020.

Photo courtesy of the University of South Florida softball team
Photo courtesy of the University of South Florida softball team

During her USF softball career, Buchman appeared in seven games, scoring two runs and stealing bases in two out of three attempts. In her second season, the infielder appeared in four games and scored three runs.

“Described as a true friend, a warrior, and someone who could make you laugh no matter what, support for Buchman and her battle poured in from all over South Florida Athletics and the Tampa Bay community she called home,” USF softball said in a statement.

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According to the school, each year, the softball team and members of the athletics department participate in the annual “Miles for Moffitt” race. This past fall, Buchman received the “Spirit of Moffitt” Award. In 2013, the softball star was honored at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s Sneaker Soiree as the Community Hero for her courage and determination in her fight against cancer.

The former infielder will be honored with a moment of silence before USF’s Thursday night game. Players will don “Play4Buc” wristbands, along with “AB” patches on their batting practice shirts.

Anyone wishing to participate in the fight against cancer is encouraged to support the Moffit Cancer Center and its annual fundraising initiatives around Miles For Moffitt.

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