As retirement beckons, Cat Osterman talks softball, the Olympics and her nickname

After greater than 20 years within the public eye, first as a highschool phenom at Cypress Springs, as a journey group standout with the Katy Cruisers, a school All-American at Texas, a three-time Olympic medalist and a standout skilled, Cat Osterman is retiring as soon as extra. 

The lefthanded grasp of spin and management pitching made her remaining look this week with the Athletes Limitless league in Rosemont, In poor health., and now returns to her residence within the New Braunfels space to start a brand new job with RBI Austin, which works with underserved younger individuals within the space to advertise softball and baseball. 

Osterman, 38, got here out of retirement in 2019 to play for the nationwide group and picked up two wins within the Tokyo Olympics, giving her a 7-1 report for 3 Olympic appearances in 2004, 2008 and 2021. 

“That is the beginning of a brand new chapter for one of many best opponents, pitchers, representatives of softball, and one of many best individuals to ever put on the USA uniform,” mentioned 2021 Olympic coach Ken Eriksen. 

“Cat’s profession has had an affect on the best way the sport has been seen by each men and women. She has left an indelible mark on the sport in addition to on many individuals throughout the nation.” 

Osterman mentioned her profession and future plans with Chronicle correspondent David Barron. Feedback have been edited for house. 

Q: So is that this actually it to your softball profession? Any ideas of occurring from right here? 

A: No. 

Q: How did issues go for you after the Olympics in Tokyo? 

A: It’s been extra of a grind coming off the Olympics, emotionally, mentally, bodily, all of it. I got here (to Athletes Limitless) to benefit from the final 5 weeks of my profession. It wasn’t a lot about performing or successful. Clearly these issues are good, however we received residence and had 10, 12 days at residence earlier than arising right here. It has been a whirlwind and just a little overwhelming, however I am unable to deny that I am excited to see the tip and head residence and switch a brand new web page. 

Q: Can the format of Athletes Limitless (which ranks particular person gamers on a factors system and rotates gamers to completely different groups every week throughout a five-week season) work in the long term? 

A: They’ve confirmed that this could work. Our visibility has been nice as a result of individuals comply with particular person athletes. The times of being a fan of 1 group will not be a lot prevalent anymore. Persons are followers of athletes individually and so they comply with them wherever they go. This format catches on to that. Folks will study different athletes as they comply with that favourite from group to group. I feel that is completely sustainable. As athletes, we loved it. It is enjoyable. It is one thing that’s new and contemporary. It will be good if it was greater than only one season a 12 months, however it’s completely sustainable. 

Q: You gained the primary season of Athletes Limitless softball however have been exterior the highest 10 getting into the ultimate week (ending sixth). Any ideas in your efficiency this season? 

A: I might have ended my profession in Tokyo, however that might have been considerably empty with out my household being right here. So this was a possibility for my household to see me play, and I needed to have the ability to take part in season two after season one was so profitable. It wasn’t a lot about outcomes for me this season.   

Q: The place do you see the game going, each within the U.S. and internationally? 

A: We now have a viable skilled endeavor that athletes can take part in. It’s on TV and will get higher scores than the (school) World Collection. The game will proceed to thrive. Internationally, that’s out of our management. There have been actually aggressive video games within the Olympics, and I hope individuals took observe. The game is in an awesome place. 

Q: Now that we’re on the finish, I had some questions that return to the start of your profession. For instance, how did you find yourself with the title Cat? Most ladies named Catherine find yourself with Cathy or Kate. 

A: In junior excessive, there have been a variety of us with “C” and “Ok” names, and we had a variety of Cathies and Katies. Cat took a lifetime of its personal after I was a freshman basketball participant. My highschool coach mentioned Catherine was too lengthy to yell down the courtroom, so we went with Cat. 

Q: How lengthy did you play basketball? 

A: I performed all over highschool and led the Houston space in blocked pictures and rebounds. 

Q: Did you ever contemplate attempting to play two sports activities in school? I do know that’s troublesome to do lately. 

A: I thought of it, however softball was my major love. And the seasons overlap an excessive amount of, so it wouldn’t have been potential to play each. 

Q: When did you begin taking part in with touring softball groups? 

A: After I was 11. I performed with a group out of Cy-Honest for 4 years, and in my first 12 months of 16 and below, the coach mentioned I most likely wanted to maneuver to a (extra superior) tam. So then I performed with the Katy Cruisers for 3 years. Nearly everybody on that group went on to play in school. Having the ability to play towards ladies older than me made for a unique stage of competitors. We made the change hoping I’d be taught one thing, type of sink or swim. The Cruisers took an opportunity on me, and I realized learn how to swim comparatively quick. 

Q: You began getting nationwide discover while you pitched for the Cruisers towards the Olympic group in 2000. What affect did which have in your profession? 

A: It didn’t solidify that I may very well be profitable on the worldwide stage, however that sport that gave me a brand new dream to attempt to work towards. It sparked a want to wish to play on the nationwide group and gave me a brand new dream to work towards. It opened the door for me. 

Q: You made it to the Faculty World Collection 3 times at Texas. What stands out from that period? 

A: It was my dream faculty. I really feel in love with it even earlier than I began taking part in softball. I received a psychology diploma, and I loved how the Longhorns followers embraced their athletes. The cool a part of being in Texas was how synonymous my title grew to become with athletics there. There are individuals there who put me on the checklist with Earl Campbell. I by no means in my life would have dreamed that would occur. 

Q: Your fashion of spin, management and ball motion continues to be distinctive in softball. Is anyone on the scene who reminds you of you? 

A: I labored extremely laborious to grasp spin and find the ball. I wasn’t all the time tall. I’ve by no means been robust. I needed to be artful and spend time determining learn how to excellent the artwork of pitching. It was spin coupled with location and the work ethic that my dad instilled in me. So far as anybody else on the scene, I don’t see anyone sitting at 62 (mph) and attempting to spin it. All people desires to throw more durable lately. However it might occur once more. My dad and I prioritized spinning and site, and it labored out for me. 

Q: What’s going to you be doing for RBI Austin? 

A: A little bit little bit of all the things? My job title is director of softball. We’re implementing a participant growth academy for softball, and I’ll assist with fund-raising. I can be working part-time for them within the fall and full-time beginning January 1st. We wish to present alternatives for youngsters in underserved communities to play and develop. I hope some will get to the purpose the place they’ll play in junior or school or school. 


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