Softball legend Cat Osterman retires

Cypress Springs High School, University of Texas grad considered one of sport’s greatest ever

United States pitcher Cat Osterman celebrates with catcher Aubree Munro against Italy in an opening round softball game during the Tokyo Olympic Games at Fukushima Azuma Stadium. (Imagn)

Cat Osterman, considered one of the best to ever play softball, has retired.

On Tuesday, from her Instagram page, the former Cypress Springs High School and University of Texas star wrote the following:

“It’s time this intimate relationship we’ve had ends. It’s not you… it’s me. You’ve had my heart for 28 years, and now I need it back, to invest it elsewhere. New experiences, my family, and cheering on everyone else who loves you. Let’s be real, this hasn’t a monogamous relationship! I share you with millions of others! 😉You’ve given me a second & third chance. You accepted and understood my change of heart and mind, while granting me so many amazing moments. And more importantly, you gave me so many amazing people.This last chapter taught me what pure joy was. You allowed me to grow in so many ways with incredible woman. You granted me things I didn’t even know I needed. You helped me show a young girl what hard work, dedication and love can add up to, and for all this I’m indebted to you.You let me go out on a high, surrounded by so many I cherish and I’m grateful. It was perfect. But still, I need to move on.Our tango on the field has ended, but I won’t be too far away. I’ll share all you’ve taught me with anyone and everyone. I’ll help others love you the way I have, and I’ll be cheering loudly as you grow and give my peers continuous challenges and successes.For the last time as an athlete, I say Goodbye to you. ❤️- #38 formerly #8 "

This is the second time Osterman has retired, though this time it might be for good. Osterman had retired back in 2015, but came back in 2019 as softball was returning for the recently-completed 2020 Olympics. The 38-year-old won two games as a pitcher for Team USA in Tokyo, adding to her two wins at the 2004 Athens Olympics (where the U.S. won gold) and her three wins at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Her career Olympic record is 7-1 with three Olympic medals won.

But Osterman’s accomplishments range way beyond the Olympics. In 2001, Osterman was the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a senior at Cypress Springs High School. In that senior season, she had a perfect 0.00 ERA while striking out 435, she pitched 12 no-hitters, and shes gave up a total of only 18 hits over the course of her entire season. Her number-20 jersey has been retired by Cypress Springs High School.

From there, Osterman had a storied career at the University of Texas, to say the least. As a Longhorn, Osterman was a three-time winner of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. In her time at UT, she threw 20 no-hitters with 10 perfect games.

A member of the U.S. National Team starting in 2001, Osterman helped Team USA win three golds at the Pan-American Games and two golds at the World Championships to go along with her three Olympic medals.

“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 in a Tuesday release from USA Softball. “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.”

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!