OKLAHOMA CITY – Three-time Olympic medalist and legendary Team USA pitcher, Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) has officially announced her retirement following a long-lasting career with the Red, White and Blue. After retiring from the sport in 2015, Osterman returned to the field in 2019 with the sport of softball on the brink of its return to the Olympic stage.
“I’m so blessed for all this game has given me,” said Osterman. “This last chapter was filled with more than I could’ve imagined, and I will always be appreciative for my time in this game. It’s been an honor to wear the Red, White and Blue, and I thank USA Softball for all they have done for the Women’s National Team, the sport and myself.”
The lefty veteran has helped Team USA to three Pan American Games gold medals (2003, 2007, 2019), two World Championship gold medals (2006, 2010) and three Olympic medals (2004, 2008, 2020) throughout her 13-year career with the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT). Capping her final season on Team USA with a silver medal finish at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Osterman totaled a 7-1 record through her three Olympic appearances, picking up two wins at the 2004 Athens Olympics, three wins at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and two wins at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“This is the start of a new chapter for one of the greatest competitors, pitchers, representatives of softball, and one of the greatest people to ever wear the USA uniform,” said 2020-21 U.S. Olympic Softball Coach, Ken Eriksen. “Cat’s career has had an impact on the way the game has been viewed by both women and men. She has left an indelible mark on the game as well as on many people across the country. I have been one of the luckiest people to have been around her all these years while witnessing her historic career.”
Osterman began her Olympic appearances at the age of 21 in the 2004 Athens Olympics where Team USA was dubbed “The Real Dream Team” after posting an undefeated 9-0 record with eight consecutive shutout wins en route to the gold medal. Osterman’s contribution to the dominance of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team was paramount, tossing two shutout wins and retiring 23 batters with a strikeout. The lefty continued to shine at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, leading the U.S. pitching staff with 33 strikeouts but was met with a heartbreak in the gold medal game with a 3-1 loss to Japan to earn the silver medal.
After returning from a three-year retirement from the sport, Osterman was one of two Olympians on the 2020-21 U.S. Olympic Softball Team who helped Team USA to their fifth-straight Olympic gold medal game. Osterman came out firing in the opening round, fanning nine Italy batters in Game 1 followed by another stellar performance in Game 3 in which she retired the last 15 Mexico batters she faced in order. Advancing to her third-consecutive Olympic gold medal game, the outcome was short of what she hoped for but was an accomplishment that extended further than the playing field.
“Obviously it’s a heartbreak to not come home with the gold, but at the same time – you have a silver medal. How many people would give for that? So, learn from it but also just accept where you are in the present moment. To all the little girls out there, keep dreamin’ the dream,” said Osterman in a post-game interview at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
At the age of 38, Osterman has been a part of several USA Softball rosters – transitioning from a rookie at the age of 20 to now a decorated veteran as her historic career comes to an end. She has touched the lives of many former and current teammates, coaches and fans throughout her storied playing career and will forever be a special member of the Red, White and Blue.
“Cat set the tone of her career when she pitched against the 2000 Olympic Team in an exhibition game in Houston, Texas,” said USA Softball National Teams Director, Chris Sebren. “I think at that point – if not before – everyone in the softball world knew how special she would be. Her longevity in the game and coming out of retirement to perform the way she has the last three years has been incredible to witness. She went all out when she was preparing for the 2019 National Team Trials, and that same work ethic continued through the Tokyo Olympic Games. We can’t thank Cat enough for being a part of USA Softball for so long and we look forward to and appreciate her continued involvement with our organization in the future.”