Daily Sports Smile: Softball star Cat Osterman receives standing ovation in final career start

The 15-player U.S. softball roster includes 38-year-old left-hander Cat Osterman, the last holdover from the 2004 gold medal-winning team, and 35-year-old left-hander Monica Abbott, who joined Osterman on the 2008 team.
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports Plus

Three-time U.S. Olympian Cat Osterman saved her best performance for one final appearance on the pitching mound. Osterman allowed one hit in 6 2/3 innings of work against Team Ocasio in the Athletes Unlimited softball league.

She had a no-hitter through five innings and finished with six strikeouts on 90 pitches. As she walked off the mound, Osterman was met with a touching moment. She received a standing ovation from both teams and fans alike.

It was an ultimate level of respect. Osterman hugged several players and was moved to tears. The softball legend was celebrated for an excellent career.

On Tuesday, Osterman announced her retirement. She finishes her softball career with a gold medal and two silvers in Olympic play. She was also a three-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year at the University of Texas.

Osterman initially retired from international competition in 2018 before announcing plans to play for Team USA this summer. It led her to joining Athletes Unlimited to prepare for the Olympics run. 

In the Tokyo Olympics, Osterman threw 14 2/3 scoreless innings. She started the gold medal game against Japan.

“Softball has been the love of my life for a long time,” Osterman told the Associated Press. “And it’s sad to know that I am walking away from it. But at the same time, I honestly don’t know what else I could give to it. So there’s a relief of just knowing that I’m walking away on my own terms.”

Many will remember Osterman’s impact and shared their gratitude for her career. She paved the way for the current softball stars today.

Osterman will stay close to the game in retirement. In August, Osterman was named softball director for RBI Austin. She will help teach the softball and spend time with her family.