Former Longhorns pitcher Cat Osterman announced her retirement from competitive softball Tuesday.
The four-time All-American is the only player in college softball history to win national college player of the year three times. After setting Texas school records in career ERA (0.51), wins (136), shutouts (85) and no-hitters (20), Osterman moved on to professional softball, winning a pair of National Pro Fastpitch championships and an Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens games.
“As I turn 30 … I’m announcing I will hang up my cleats after this 2013 NPF season,” Osterman tweeted Tuesday, her 30th birthday. “Thank you again everyone for the love and support. I’m blessed. Looking forward to making my last season a good one!”
The only player to ever have the country’s best ERA in three different seasons, Osterman struck out 14.4 hitters per seven innings during her Longhorns career, an NCAA record. She fanned 554 hitters as a freshman in 2002, an NCAA record at the time, before she broke it as a junior and senior. Osterman held opposing hitters to a .095 batting average during her career and recorded 2,265 strikeouts.
When Osterman focused on playing for the U.S. Olympic softball team in 2004, Texas went 24-25, the program’s only losing season in the last decade. Osterman tossed 14.67 scoreless in the 2004 Olympics en route to helping the U.S. win gold.
Osterman, who led the NPF with a 0.72 ERA last season, is currently an assistant coach at St. Edward’s University under former Texas teammate Lindsay Gardner. Osterman and former Longhorns running back Ricky Williams were each inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in February.
Texas had only played five seasons of varsity softball before Osterman arrived. The Longhorns lost both of their games of the only trip to the Women’s College World Series before Osterman led them to the WCWS three times — getting knocked out by UCLA before the national title round each time — and have not been back to Oklahoma City since.
“She has been the most iconic softball athlete at The University of Texas as well as in the state of Texas,” Longhorns Head Softball Coach Connie Clark said. “We are extremely proud of her and her representation of our program.”