Softball associate head coach and former olympian pitcher Cat Osterman will be trying out for the U.S. National team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Osterman, 35, was originally recruited by Team USA to be a member of the national team’s coaching staff in 2020 but began to have doubts about the position shortly after landing the role.
“They asked me to be in the coaching pool and I did,” said Osterman. “I applied and I got accepted in the coaching pool and the more I thought about it, my heart wasn’t in it to coach that team. there was no part of me that wanted to be named a coach (to) the national team.”
Osterman’s decision to play for the team wasn’t immediately in her mind, but a push from Texas State softball head coach Ricci Woodard helped prompt her decision.
“We were in a car ride home and I said, ‘You know if you want to do this Olympic thing again, we can probably make that work,’” Woodard said. “I kind of threw it out there because I thought she was probably thinking about it.”
Woodard’s support eased Osterman’s worry that training and competing for the national team would get in the way of her job as Texas State’s pitching coach.
“I love my job and I didn’t want to have to give that up and I kind of convinced myself it was one or the other,” Osterman said. “So as soon as (Woodard) said we would make it work, I was kind of open to it.”
Osterman, a four-time Softball World Cup champion (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010), a two-time Pan American gold medalist, an Olympic gold (2004) and silver (2008) medalist and the only three-time winner of the USA Softball collegiate player of the year (2003, 2005, 2006), is a well-decorated veteran of the game
For an athlete as experienced and accomplished as Osterman, jumping back into pitching felt right.
“It means the world to me,” Osterman said. “Once I started throwing again, the competitive juices and love of it came right back. For me, it’s something that really does fires me up.”
Osterman began perparing for her return to the field since last October and has been working out to get herself into playing shape.
“I started out last October working out in the weight room,” Osterman said. “I’ve been in the weight room two or three times a week depending on what phase of lifting we’re doing. I run and bike almost six days a week, so I got myself physically back in shape and then started throwing more after the season ended. I waited till the summer and started getting in some pitching shape.”
Osterman began her career with USA Softball immediately after high school and spent 10 years with the team before joining a professional league. The pitcher is looking for redemption for failing to get the gold medal in 2008.
“Losing the gold or winning the silver, however you want to put it, doesn’t sit well,” Osterman said. “The opportunity to possibly help a group of girls be able to experience the Olympics and win a gold medal, that’s something that really excites me.”