Softball Royalty Atttends Opening Session

Three Former Softball Standouts, Coach Among Thursday’s Opening Day Crowd

OKLAHOMA CITY – Among the fans during Thursday’s opening games of the 32nd annual Women’s College World Series were three former players. Two of the former players were Dr. Dot and Cat. The third was Jennifer Stewart, who pitched OU to its first NCAA softball championship in 2000 and was the MOP of the 2000 WCWS.

Dr. Dot is Dr. Dorothy Richardson, who was a member of the 1996 and 2000 USA gold-medal winning Olympic teams. Richardson, who played the game with boundless energy and enthusiasm, became a household name in the 1980s and 1990s and hit the game-winning homer in the 1996 gold medal game against China. She’s now director of sports at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla.  She starred in college at Western Illinois and UCLA and was a 15-time ASA All-American. She is a member of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame.

The second was Cat, or none other than Catherine Leigh Osterman, who on April 16th of this year, announced her retirement from softball at age 30. Osterman, now an assistant coach at St. Edward’s University in Austin, was at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium to cheer for her Texas Longhorns who stunned the ASU Sun Devils, 6-3.

A native of Houston, Texas, Osterman graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While at UT, Osterman was a three-time National Player of the Year and four-time All-American. The only softball individual to ever win National Player of the Year honors three times, she helped take the Longhorns to three trips to the Women’s College World Series (2003, 2005 and 2006) while earning USA Softball’s National Player of the Year honor in each of those three seasons. During her redshirt season of 2004, Osterman trained with the USA National Team as the only collegian and youngest member of the Olympic Team that earned a gold medal in Athens.

A three-time selection as Big 12 Conference Female Athlete of the Year (2003, 2005 and 2006), she still holds UT career records in victories (136), ERA (0.51), shutouts (85) and no-hitters (20), and she holds the NCAA record for career strikeout ratio per seven innings (14.35). Osterman was a recipient of the NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award in 2006, an honor presented to the top eight senior student-athletes in the country.

Osterman pitched for the USA National Team from 2001 to 2010, appearing in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Team USA took home the gold in 2004 and finished with the silver medal in 2008. In her 10-year career with Team USA, Osterman held a 59-4 record with a 0.38 ERA. She struck out an amazing 832 batters in just 425.2 innings of work. Earlier this year Osterman became the second softball player elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, joining former Texas A&M star Shawn Andaya.

Margie Wright, former Fresno State head coach and the winningest Division One softball coach, also was in Oklahoma City. She recently wrote the foreword for the newest softball book, “A Series of Their Own..The History of the Women’s College World Series.” The book was written by Bill Plummer III and Larry C. Floyd of Oklahoma City and can be purchased at