OKLAHOMA CITY -- Texas junior left-handed pitcher Cat Osterman was selected as the 2005 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the ASA announced Wednesday during the opening ceremonies for the Women's College World Series at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Osterman, who was one of three finalists with Arizona sophomore outfielder Caitlin Lowe and Michigan junior right-handed pitcher Jennie Ritter, became the first-ever two-time winner of the award. She also won the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honor. UCLA's Stacey Nuveman was the inaugural award winner in 2002, followed by Osterman the following year. Florida State's Jessica van der Linden won the award last year.
"I'm honored to win this award," Osterman said when the announcement was made. "I honestly didn't think I would win with the numbers Caitlin (Lowe) put up offensively and the success Michigan had with Jennie (Ritter) leading them in the circle.
"I thought I had a really consistent season and I pitched the best I have in my college career. I also have an amazing team behind me that plays incredible defense, which has been a big key to our success this year. This is just such a surprise and it's an honor to be recognized with Caitlin and Jennie."
A 2004 Olympic gold medalist with the U.S. softball team, Osterman returned to Texas after taking a year off to tour with the Red, White and Blue. Upon her return to the Longhorns, she has posted the best season of her career, amassing a national-best 0.32 earned run average, 539 strikeouts (a nation-leading 15.5 strikeout per seven innings), 20 shutouts, and six no-hitters including three perfect games. Opponents are hitting .074 against her, and she has allowed just 11 earned runs (20 total) in 243.2 innings of work for the fifth-ranked Longhorns.
She has already earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, first-team All-Big 12 and NFCA All-Midwest Region honors, and she was named the most valuable player of the Big 12 Tournament, which the Longhorns won for the third time in four years three weeks ago.
This season, Osterman has posted a 28-6 record, having won her last eight decisions as the Horns begin play at the WCWS. A two-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American, she holds nine Texas career pitching records and is ranked third on the NCAA career strikeout list with 1,581 in her three-year career. Her career strikeout ratio of 14.0 would be an all-time collegiate record.
Osterman is also one of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award for softball - with Lowe, Texas A&M's Amanda Scarborough and Washington's Kristen Rivera - which will be announced in early June.