When Cat Osterman retired from softball in 2015, she had done just about everything there was to do in the sport.
The ace pitcher had won Olympic gold and silver medals, multiple world championships and National Player of the Year honors in three of her four seasons pitching for the Texas Longhorns.
The one opportunity she still longed for was to end her Olympic career on a high note.
Now she can try to do just that.
Ten years after Osterman and Team USA’s shock upset to Japan in the 2008 Olympic gold-medal game, which also happened to be the last time softball was scheduled to be contested on the Olympic level, Osterman has thrown her name into the mix for another go-round.
With baseball and softball set to rejoin the Olympic program for 2020 in Tokyo, the 35-year-old Osterman is among the players invited to try out for the next U.S. women’s national team, USA Softball announced on Tuesday. Osterman is one of three Olympians aiming to make a return to the Games in 2020, joining Monica Abbott and Kelly Kretschman, who previously came out of retirement from USA Softball.
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Osterman last pitched for the national team in 2010, having compiled a 59-4 record with a 0.38 ERA and 832 strikeouts in 425.2 innings. She continued playing professionally in National Pro Fastpitch through 2015.
In 2016, the International Olympic Committee voted to re-introduce baseball and softball to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Neither sport is guaranteed a spot in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, meaning this truly is a now-or-never opportunity.
Since retiring from her playing days, Osterman has served as associate head coach at Texas State.
Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.