From the Little League Softball® fields at Bear Creek Little League in Houston, Texas, to the Olympic stadiums around the world, Cat Osterman has been instrumental in the growth and development of the game of softball. Now, on March 25, 2020, the 2016 Little League® Hall of Excellence will be recognized for her commitment to the game as she becomes the first ever University of Texas softball player, and third female student-athlete, to have her jersey retired in the school’s history.
Ms. Osterman, now the Director of Softball Operations at Texas State University, began her softball career at Bear Creek Little League in Houston, Texas. After graduating from Cypress Springs High School as the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year, Ms. Osterman joined Team USA Softball, where she became the first in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings at 15.4 and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice.
During her time playing for the Texas Longhorns, Ms. Osterman was named a three-time USA Softball National Player of the Year, four-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American, and a two-time ESPY Award winner for Best Female College Athlete. As a freshman, she pitched the first perfect game in Longhorn softball history – the first of her seven career perfect games and just one of her 20 career no-hitters. Along with her on-field success, Ms. Osterman was also named a three-year member of the All-Big 12 Academic Team. Today, Ms. Osterman still holds the NCAA record for highest career strikeout-per-seven-inning ratio at 14.34, remains the only player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in ERA on three occasions, and managed 20 no-hitters and seven perfect games while at Texas.
Time for No. 8⃣ to take her rightful place!
We're honored to announce that legendary Texas pitcher @catosterman's jersey will be the first to be retired in UT softball history!
— Texas Softball (@TexasSoftball) January 21, 2020
After an impressive collegiate career, Ms. Osterman was the first overall pick in the 2006 National Pro Fastpitch draft. In her rookie season, Ms. Osterman set a league record with career best strikeout ratio of 12.5. In 2009, Ms. Osterman’s Rockford Thunder won the Cowles Cup Championship and she eventually went on to capture three more Cowles Cup championships with the USSSA Pride in 2010, 2013, and 2014. Throughout her professional career in the NPF, Ms. Osterman was named All-NPF on six occasions and was named Pitcher of the Year in 2011, 2013, and 2014. She retired from the NPF after the 2015 season.
With softball returning to the Olympics in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, Ms. Osterman will be coming out of retirement and back to the diamond to join fellow Little League graduate Rachel Garcia (California District 51 LL) and Head Coach Ken Erikson (Central Islip LL/Three Village LL) on the quest for Olympic Gold. Throughout her Olympic career, Ms. Osterman has proven her abilities on the highest stage as she helped her team to the gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics as the youngest member of Team USA, and took home a silver at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The official jersey retirement ceremony for Ms. Osterman will take place on March 25 as part of ceremonies surrounding Texas' mid-week home contest against UT Arlington at Red & Charline McCombs Field.