University of Texas junior pitcher Cat Osterman has been named the 29th-annual Honda Award winner for softball.
Osterman, who was also the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year this season and the unanimous national player of the year, is now one of 12 finalists for the Honda-Broderick Cup which honors the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The award will be presented in New York City on June 29.
The Honda Award is voted on by administers at 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program.
Osterman beat out Arizona sophomore outfielder Caitlin Lowe, Washington senior catcher Kristen Rivera and Texas A&M freshman utility player Amanda Scarborough in the softball category.
"This is such an honor," Osterman said. "To be voted the best in your sport is very humbling, especially when you consider who the other finalists were and what they accomplished this year. Looking at the list of past winners in softball, it reads like a who's-who and I'm honored that my name will be listed among the greats in our sport."
Osterman, who was nominated for the award in 2003, missed the 2004 season while helping the United States Olympic softball team to the gold medal in Athens, Greece.
The Houston, Texas, native returned to Austin in 2005 and led the nation in earned run average with a 0.36 mark as she compiled a 30-7 record. Her 15.2 strikeouts per seven innings are an NCAA-best and an all-time record. A three-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA Divison I All-American, Osterman won her third Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honor, while leading her team to a third-place showing at the Women's College World Series.
"This is a great honor for Cat and our program," Texas head coach Connie Clark, who was the 1986 Honda Award for softball honoree, said. "Cat has been the model of consistency this season and has been a great factor in the team's success. Coming off a world-wind tour with the Olympic team last year, Cat came back and had her best season yet at the collegiate level. She is deserving of this honor, as well as her place among the sport's best in which this award puts her."
Other Honda Award winners already announced include: LSU's Seimone Augustus (basketball), Stanford's Ogonna Nnamani (volleyball), Wake Forest's Kelly Dostal (field hockey), Santa Clara's Leslie Osborne (soccer), Providence College's Kim Smith (cross-country), Auburn's Kirsty Coventry (swimming), UCLA's Kristen Maloney (gymnastics), Duke's Anna Grzebien (golf), Baylor's Zena Zemenova (tennis) and Northwestern's Kristen Kjellman (lacrosse). The athlete voted the most outstanding in track & field will be named in the next week and Texas' Marshevet Hooker is one of the finalists.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.