When Lexi Bowdish committed to Butler University to play softball in 2019, she left a lasting legacy at her alma mater, Manteno High School.

During her four-year varsity career as a Panther, Bowdish cemented herself as one of the best softball players in school history. In her four seasons, Bowdish helped lead her squad to an 87-42 overall record, including a 47-16 conference mark in the Interstate Eight. She holds six school records.

Bowdish owns the school career records for batting average (.536) and doubles (57). She also holds the single-season school records in batting average (.641 as a senior), doubles (21 as a junior), home runs (nine as a senior) and RBIs (54 as a junior). She won numerous individual honors, including First-Team All-State (2017, 2018, 2019) and First-Team All-Area (2017, 2018, 2019) honors three times each.

So, being that she was a superstar in high school, the now-NCAA Division I catcher had some adjusting to do when she got to Butler, but it didn’t take her long to settle in.

“It was definitely a transition, especially going from high school ball to Division I pitching,” Bowdish said. “I’d say I adjusted pretty well after the first semester, especially balancing athletics and academics.”

Unfortunately for the biology major, Bowdish tore her meniscus in her knee during a catching incident in her team’s trip to Madeira Beach, Fla., in February. The injury ended up limiting her to three games and two starts before the 2020 season was canceled March 12 because of COVID-19.

Thankfully for Bowdish, the rehab process went swiftly, only taking two months to complete.

“Rehabbing was great. I was rehabbing here in Bourbonnais because I obviously couldn’t do it with my trainer at Butler,” Bowdish said. “We took it slow in the beginning, and with the meniscus, it’s basically on my own pain threshold of how I feel, so it was quicker than I thought it would be.

“I’ve had no pain since; everything is back to normal, and I feel stronger than ever.”

Although the injury kept her off the field for the majority of the shortened season, Bowdish was able to capture some incredible moments with her new squad.

“My favorite moment this season came from the plane trip to Florida,” Bowdish said. “It was such a fun ride because my team is really tight, which makes things enjoyable.”

Since the season was cut short, Bowdish has been working to get herself back into playing shape for next season. She’s wasted little to no time continuing the grind since being cleared by her doctors.

“Since the end of May when I officially got cleared, I have been lifting and running to get my knee stronger and more stable,” Bowdish said. “And then, I have been also going to hit with my dad at the field and work on catching drills — blocking, throwing, framing — just to feel 110 percent at the plate for next season so I can be ready to go again in August.”

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