May 21, 2003
Oklahoma City -- Sophomore left-handed pitcher Cat Osterman was selected as the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, announced Wednesday night by USA Softball during the Opening Ceremonies of the Women's College World Series. By winning the second-annual award, Osterman becomes the first player from Texas and the Big 12 Conference to receive the honor. Stacey Nuveman, the former All-America catcher from UCLA, won the inaugural award in 2002.
"I was totally shocked," said Osterman. "This award was unexpected. I did not think that I would win. UCLA's Natasha Watley and Arizona's Lovie Jung (the other finalists) had exceptional seasons. I am among elite company just being nominated for this award. I hope this will not be the only award we take back to Texas."
Osterman leads the nation in ERA at 0.29 and strikeout ratio per seven inning game at 14.3. She was selected as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and Big 12 Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season. Osterman also was chosen as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Region III Tournament last week in Austin. For the season, Osterman has 442 strikeouts in 218.0 innings of work. She has given up 61 hits all year and only nine earned runs. Osterman broke the Texas career records for strikeouts (996), shutouts (33), wins (66) and consecutive scoreless innings (64.2) this season. Osterman excels in the classroom as well as she was named first-team Academic All-District VI team and an Academic All-Big 12 first team member.
Osterman also was the lone Longhorn named to the 2003 National Fastpitch Coaches Association/Louisville Slugger All-America Team. She was a first-team pick for the first time in her career. Osterman was a second-team selection in 2002.
No. 3 Texas begins Women's College World Series play on Thursday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. against No. 21 Louisiana-Lafayette, the winner of the Fullerton Regional. The game will be televised live on ESPN.