Beyond the game: Cat Osterman

Sports Reporter
Assistant coach Cat Osterman poses Jan. 28 in her office.

Although Cat Osterman is a decorated softball player, she always had a passion for coaching.

Osterman, a four-time All-American and two-time Olympic medalist, is in her first season assistant coaching for the Bobcats.

“This is technically my third coaching job, and coaching is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Osterman said. “I approach the game differently, obviously, but I feel I’m able to approach it with a little more passion with some fun involved. I’m comfortable here, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

The Houston native played three years at Texas. She led the Longhorns to three consecutive College World Series appearances.

Osterman pitched for the USA National Team from 2001 to 2010 while attending Texas, becoming the only collegian and youngest member of the Olympic team to earn a gold medal in Athens.

She was an assistant coach at DePaul University and St. Edwards prior to joining the Bobcat coaching staff. She helped lead the Blue Demons to three straight Big East Championships, two NCAA Regional appearances and a 129-50 record. The Hilltoppers went 125-100 during her tenure at St. Edwards.

“It’s a big difference going from Division I to Division II,” Osterman said. “Of course we’re going to have a lot more amenities and stuff available to us. Being under an established head coach also makes a huge difference. For me, it was a good move, one that I’m very excited about.”

Osterman was officially added to the Bobcat program May 2014. The players already recognize the difference she makes.

“She has a lot of experience with her professional career and all of her success, but what she brings to it is the mental game,” said Kaylee Garner, sophomore pitcher. “The mental game has been a huge part of it this year and is one of the biggest differences from last year.”

Osterman will have two returners and two freshmen on the pitching staff heading into the 2015 season, including Randi Rupp, 2014 Gatorade Texas Softball Player of the Year.

Rupp noticed the influence Osterman has on her game, especially in mental approach, after three months of organized practices.  

Rupp said she is making little improvements, which include avoiding spinning the ball too hard and pushing her hips too far when following through.

“She brings so much more to the game,” Rupp said. “I never really thought about the mental game in high school, but when I got here it’s expected and has had a big influence on me.”

Osterman takes over a pitching staff losing Rayn House, who led Texas State with 240.2 innings and 218 strikeouts last year.

“Randi has done some good things prior to college, so I’m excited to see if we can keep that going with her,” Osterman said. “Then getting the returners out there and hopefully getting them some confidence so they can build on that. I’m excited to see how everything plays out."

 

Follow Donavan Jackson on Twitter @djack_02.