Stevens: Softball Legend Cat Osterman To Visit Lobo Softball
Oct. 4, 2010
Lobo Softball Vs. National Pro All-Star Team
The Cat Osterman File
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
In case you aren't a softball junkie and don't understand what it means to have Cat Osterman visit Lobo softball - and hopefully throw a pitch or two - here's some perspective.
If this were a baseball visit, it would be like Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Sandy Kofax or maybe Bob Gibson coming to town.
Except Cat can still bring it.
If it was football, you might be looking Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, Bart Starr or Johnny Unitas.
Except Cat can still bring it.
If it was boxing, you'd be talking lefties like Marvin Hagler, Oscar De La Hoya or Joe Frazier.
Except Cat still has some power in her south paw.
There also is something else that makes Osterman stand out above all the aforementioned legends and greats of their sport.
You can argue whether or not Hagler, Marino, Ryan - any of them - are among the Top Five in their sport. There is no argument about Osterman. The 6-foot-2 lefty is clearly one of the more dominating athletes to ever step onto a softball field.
Partly, because of her uncanny skills on the mound that twice propelled her onto the cover of "Sports Illustrated" and placed her on the U.S. Olympic Team before her junior year in college.
Partly, because of the nature of her position and the nature of fastpitch softball.
There might not be any other team sport where one position has so much potential to dominate. In fastpitch ball, the mound is like a combination of quarterback/linebacker or point guard/center. These pitchers often pitch every game, too.
"Cat clearly is one of the top softball players to ever play the game," said Lobo coach Erica Beach. "But this whole group coming in represents some of the finest softball players in the world. This is a special opportunity for our community.
"It will be a great challenge for our team and will help us to prepare for our spring season. The National Pro Fastpitch League is something our coaching staff has been involved with for years as players, and we look forward to showing the Southwest what it is all about."
The National Pro Fastpitch All-Star Team had included the Lobos on their swing through the Southwest. The Stars play at Arizona Monday, New Mexico State on Tuesday, UTEP on Wednesday and New Mexico on Thursday.
This GoLobos.com writer can honestly say that there have been few athletes at any level, in any sport, that I have watched do their athletic thing more than Osterman. That comes from having a young daughter passionate about pitching, who hooked onto Osterman as her favorite player.
That was an easy hook for a budding pitcher to make. Osterman was the Gatorade National Softball Player of The Year in high school. She moved on to the University of Texas and turned a so-so hitting Longhorns' team into a national power.
She struck out 2,000-plus batter in college, still holds the NCAA record with 14.37 strikeouts per seven innings and played on a gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic team.
Cat will be prowling around the Lobo complex Thursday night and to even to get a glimpse of this great would be a special treat.
But, please, Cat, throw a couple of pitches, too.
Editor's Note: Richard Stevens is a former Sports Columnist and Associate Sports Editor for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at email@example.com.