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Cat Osterman: The Burnt Orange Nation Interview

As promised, the Burnt Orange Nation interview with former UT standout Cat Osterman.

You're well-known as a fan of various UT sports teams. Andrea C. wants to know which sports - non-softball division - are your favorites?

I enjoyed watching basketball, both mens and womens, along with volleyball.  Being an athlete we were all close to each other, and I was best friends with Jody Bell and Jamie Carey, so I went to support them as much as possible.  I also became good friends with Michelle Moriarty, so when I can, I watch her play and wear her jersey in support. It's fun to just be a fan sometimes.

Along those same lines, patienthornsfan asks: "Cat, you were a regular supporter of other womens' athletics events while you were starring on the softball teams, and were often sighted at ladies basketball games and volleyball matches. Attendance at most of these events is far less than at other schools with less history and success.  If you were the Athletic Director, what would you do to improve attendance at womens' home games?"

First and foremost you have to make it fun for students. Sometimes I feel like the students are disassociated from the games and not close enough to be that presence. I don't think the student body is able to identify with most of our women athletes.  I think our media outlets need to give people the avenue to get to know your athletes.

Similarly, reader 54b emailed to ask: "What's it like to be the Michael Jordan of your sport but not have the same sorts of fame and fortune as reward for your dominance? Obviously, you're signing endorsement deals and off to an awesome start to your professional career, making UT fans proud all the way. But do you ever get exasperated that female superstar athletes aren't as rewarded as their male counterparts?"

I don't focus on the fact that I don't get as much as guys do or would. Sure if I was a male and played baseball and had my stats, I know I'd be a millionaire already, but I take pride in the fact that I can set some standards in the female athlete realm.  I have two incredible companies that have given me the oppurtunity to earn a living, while supporting softball.  Many people don't look at female athletes as athletes first, and until that changes, society won't give us equal avenues.

Reader Caradoc asks, "Do you think women's softball has become too much of a pitcher's game? And if so, what change would you make to bring in more offense?"

No, I don't think softball is too much of a pitcher's game. At the top level, you have elite pitchers who can dominate it and the fences have already moved back, but so has the mound.  there isn't much more you can do, because the bats are already hotter than they have ever been. I think people need to appreciate that art of pitching in the fastpitch game because its more than blowing the ball by people. Hitting is actually on the rise in the game.

One of our Aggie readers chimed in, wanting to know what your most memorable win at Texas was. And I'll add: your most memorable win for the US team?

I don't know if I have just one most memorable win at Texas. Throwing my last no hitter at OU (How great is it that she has to qualify which no hitter she's referring to? -ed.) was pretty big, and a great memory because their coach said some very nice comments to me afterwards.  The extra inning battle against Arizona at the World Series my junior year is the one that sticks out the most.  

As far as Team USA goes, beating Japan in China last summer to win the 2006 World Championships and claim the #1 ranking for the Olympics takes the cake. It was the best game I have ever thrown.

For those of us who don't know the mechanics of softball pitching, can you give us the layman's explanation for why your pitches are so difficult for batters to hit? No need to be modest here - the numbers speak for themselves.

Plain and simple, I never throw anything straight. My pitches always move, whether its vertically or horizontally.  I don't overpower people, and I rarely change speeds.  I have been able to master throwing movement pitches both in the zone and out of the zone.

What's the biggest difference so far in being a professional as opposed to an amateur? What are you liking most about it? What do you miss most about your amateur days?

I think the biggest thing in the professional realm is getting yourself prepared individually. I have a great team, and we have good team chemistry, but a lot of your preparation and working on fixing things is an individual responsability. I don't mind it though.  I love being able to be paid to play the sport I love, and I like being in a new place. Rockford has embraced us pretty well, and I am enjoying a new atmosphere.  I do miss being in Austin and always being able to meet new people who were fans or caught a game once in a while.  That celebrity status Longhorn fans make of their athletes is nice to enjoy sometimes, I won't lie!

And last, a personal favorite of mine - word association. I'll give you some words, you give us the first thought that comes to your mind. Always a fun way to get to know someone a little better.

Jody Conradt::legend

Pizza::pepperoni please

Would Woody Allen have turned out
so neurotic if he'd been born with
Woody Harrelson's looks?
Slumber Parties::birthday parties we had when we were in Jr high

Wikipedia::the life-invading encyclopedia... they might actually comment on the time I wake up tomorrow

Video Games::reason kids are obese... we played sports in the street growing up

Kevin Durant::wish I had met him... awesome athlete to have at UT

Woody Allen::Haha isn't he from Cheers?

Burnt Orange Nation::dedicated group of fans I have known about a lot longer than I lead on... hehe... thanks for the support!

Thank YOU, Cat, for taking the time to chat. This was a lot of fun. Keep making UT proud!