Congratulations Cat! night transcript
The following is a transcript of the question and answer session Cat Osterman conducted after the presentation of the commissioned art work at McCombs Field on Friday, Sept. 24. After the presentation, Osterman went into the stands and answered several fan questions before being presented with a signed card from everyone in attendance at the game.
Cat Osterman: Thank you for coming out tonight! I'm tremendously excited to be back in burnt orange, back in Austin, and more importantly, back at McCombs Field.
The first question was from Jodi of Baytown who wanted to know: "Cat, out of all the players on the Olympic team, who was your favorite and why?"
CO: I would have to say, my roommate Jessica Mendoza. She and I got along really well. She's a Stanford grad, she played left field for us, batted seventh or eighth and was just a tremendous athlete. She and I spent the entire last year living together and it was an extremely great time. I would have to say that she and Kelly Kretschman (were my favorites). Kelly because she and I have been good friends for two or three years now since I started in the (USA Softball) program, and I still talk to her daily.
Our next question comes from Caitlen, who says, "Hi Cat. I think you are amazing. I woke up so early to watch you play in the Olympics and I was wondering what you were thinking before Natasha Watley made the last out and you won the Gold Medal?"
CO: "First of all, I want to say thank you for waking up and watching us. We found out that more people woke up that early to see us than we ever thought would. We figured they'd be recording our games, so thanks! Before Natasha made the last out, we'd been waiting for the last inning to go by. We'd been standing close to each other and holding hands and then we decided that we wouldn't be able to file out of the dugout because it would take too long. So we spread out and decided who was jumping out which way and then we knew we were jumping over the fence. As we watched Natasha make the last out, we were already half-way over the fence before the throw was to first base, so thank God she didn't overthrow it. I know Jennie (Finch) and I were in the dugout amazed that we were about to win our first gold medal, and Lori Harrigan was crying already because it was the last game of her career. We were all extremely emotional, and it ranged from excitement to sadness."
The next question is from Elkart, Indiana, who said, "Congratulations Cat! You played awesome and represented the U.S. well. Are there any rituals you go through to get ready for a big game?"
CO: "There was no need to be pumped up when I was with Team USA. Any time we were on the field, we were proud to be representing our country. More importantly, we had a certain CD we played on every ride to the field, and I could recite the whole CD right now if I wanted to. It was the same songs every day, and I don't care how many times we heard them, we were still all singing and dancing around and acting crazy on the bus. You wouldn't think some people who are 33 like Lisa (Fernandez) or Lori (Harrigan) would be dancing on the bus, but they were. But don't tell them I told you that!"
Our next question is from Hannah in Austin, who asks, "What's the hardest thing to adjust to now that you're back in school and back in Austin?"
CO: There are a few things. Obviously, first is that my life is not in my own control right now. But being back on a schedule, back going to class and going to practice every day has been tough. It's hard to get used to it since for the last year when I was back in Austin, I was free to go and do anything I wanted. I haven't made as many trips to Barton Springs or to the mall as I did, but it's been fun. I guess the other thing that's been hard to get used to is being recognized when I walk in someplace. I've always had that a little bit since I arrived at UT, but since I've been back (from Athens) it's been really exciting to walk in somewhere and hear the support from everybody. That's been hard to adjust to since I'm not used to it, but it's exciting to know that people are recognizing softball players."
Our next questions if from Erika, who asks, "If you could relive one moment - just one - from the Olympics, which would it be?"
CO: I would say the Gold Medal stand. Being on that stand and hearing the National Anthem and having the medal around your neck with tears running down your face, you're up there and you realize why players like Leah (Amico-O'Brien) or Lisa (Fernandez), who this was their third time there, why they played for 12 years and continued to train when they weren't in college. That feeling right there makes you want it more and more."
Our next question comes from Lauren, who asks, "What's the most important thing you took away from your Olympic experience?"
CO: "I think it would be what it's like to not be the main pitcher. I kind of liked it. It took the pressure off and I got to rest a lot, which is kind of nice now and then. It's a different atmosphere when you're not the 'go-to' person all the time, and I learned how to deal with that. I also took away what it took to be ready for every game, especially at the Olympic level. Look at Lisa (Fernandez) who went out three times against the same team and each time she had a different game plan. And that's how you have to approach teams when you play them time after time. Look at our conference, we play OU several times a year and we have to take a different game-plan into the circle each time we go out. I think things like that will help me mentally in the season at Texas."
We have two questions left and both of these came from folks in the stands. Our first one is from Rachel who asks, "What was your favorite local food in Greece?"
CO: "Our cafeteria in the Athletes' Village actually had a McDonalds, but that wasn't my favorite. They had a café there that actually served the Greek gyros with beef and lamb, and they were covered in some kind of yogurt. Those and Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese. I lived on those two things for a couple of weeks and they were definitely delicious.
Our last question comes from Caroline from South Carolina, and she wants to know, "Congrats Cat! What do you want to do after college?"
CO: "I met Caroline earlier and she flew all the way in from South Carolina for the game today and she's right here in the front! I plan on coaching when I'm done. That's all I've ever wanted to do since I was little. And hopefully, I can stay at Texas!"
One final surprise for Cat Osterman. We have two special Longhorns fans to deliver a card to Cat signed by everyone in attendance tonight. Congratulations, Cat, and welcome back to Austin! Ladies and gentlemen, now we're ready for some UT softball, but before we go, please get on your feet and give a warm welcome back to Cat Osterman!