Elena Bowman, catcher for the Manhattan College softball team, is in her final year as a Jasper and to say she has brought a lot to the team is an understatement.
Just looking at last season, Bowman was named MAAC Player of the Year, Capital One Academic All-District and All-America First Team just to name a few. When you ask her about her awards, she never focuses too much on herself. She always has a team mindset.
Her accomplishments so far this season include driving in four homeruns and hitting .455 in the St. John’s Invitational, part of the Jaspers’ 14-game road trip. The Jaspers had a comeback win against LIU Brooklyn on March 24 and Bowman notched one run in the team’s seven-run sixth inning.
The Quadrangle: You were just named MAAC Player of the Week, the sixth of your career, after your performance at the St. John’s Invitational. How does it feel to be honored like that?
Elena Bowman: It’s always nice to be recognized by the conference. It’s not something that ever really gets old. I let myself feel good about it for a minute but then I think it’s important to focus in on the big picture and what we’re trying to achieve. It’s not where you stand now that matters but where you’re standing in May.
TQ: After the team’s long road trip, you return home for four games. How is it for the team to play on home field?
EB: It’s so good to be home. We love playing on our field in front of our fans. It’s just a great atmosphere and makes for great softball.
TQ: In the LIU Brooklyn game, the team was down and came back to win with a seven-run sixth inning. What does that say about the team’s resiliency?
EB: This team is amazing. You put 22 hardworking girls on one roster and that’s what you’re going to get, straight grit. It’s just fun to be a part of. No lead is insurmountable. No team is unbeatable. Like I said, it’s a lot of fun taking the field with this team and I think that’s the way it should be.
TQ: How do you feel your season has gone so far?
EB: I got off to a little bit of a slow start but Pitt [Lauren Pitney, infield] and Jenn [Vazquez, first base] have been brilliant on either end of me in the lineup. So once I relaxed a little bit and let the game come to me, I feel like I’m finally starting to hit my stride.
TQ: What is an individual goal you have set for this season? Team goals?
EB: No individual goals this season. My goal is the same as the team goal, a MAAC championship. Everything else is just white noise.
TQ: As a senior, what has been your favorite memory from your years at Manhattan?
EB: I would have to say my favorite memory as a Jasper was last year when I broke the career homerun record in front of my family in California. It was the first time they had seen me play for Manhattan and I’ll never forget rounding third base, seeing how excited my team was for me and then looking beyond them and seeing all my family jumping up and down. Really just a special moment.
TQ: How does it feel playing in your last season as a Jasper?
EB: Very bittersweet. It has been such an amazing experience playing ball here. From my teammates, to my coaches and throughout the entire athletic department, I’ve met the most incredible people and enjoyed every bit of this journey. I’m sad to see it come to an end but I know when I hang up my cleats at the end of the season I’ll have given this team and I’ll have given this sport everything I have. That’s something I think I’ll always be able to take pride in.
TQ: Who has influenced you as a player?
EB: Bridget Hurlman, our previous assistant coach, was an incredible mentor for me. She taught me a lot about the amount of passion this game demands and the respect it requires. I am grateful for all the hours she spent making me a better ball player but to Coach Bridge and Coach P [Pardalis, head coach] I am forever indebted for making me a better person.
TQ: Do you have any plans set for after graduation?
EB: No formal plans yet but stay tuned.