(CBS Local) – Cat Osterman is one of the greatest softball players of all time and reminds everyone in the new professional softball league called Athletes Unlimited. The league is made up of 56 of the best players in the world with an alternate fantasy-style point system where athletes can collect points for leadership, individual stats and wins at the end of each inning.
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Osterman is currently at the top of the rankings with 1,228 points. That's 252 points more than any other player. The former All-American pitcher at the University of Texas is a 2x Olympian and came out of retirement when softball was reintroduced in the Olympics. While the Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Osterman has used Athletes Unlimited to improve their skills and enjoy the game of softball in a brand new way.
"I've always enjoyed playing, but I feel like a different level of energy and excitement is coming out of me and I can enjoy the moment," Osterman said in an interview with DJ Sixsmith of CBS Local. “Some of that might have retired and not retired. Obviously, it gives you a new appreciation for something that you have distanced yourself from. I also think this atmosphere is really fun. Pick teams every week and be with new teammates. If I hadn't taken this opportunity, there are 30 to 40 people with whom I would never have crossed paths. One of those people is Gwen Svekis, and obviously we clicked and understood. That was fun and fun to be back in the game atmosphere. "
The teams switch to Athletes Unlimited every week, there are no coaches and the top four points leaders become captains when designing their teams. The Olympic gold and silver medalist has been training for 12 years, which has helped her lead her teams over the past few weeks. While Osterman has long been playing at a high level, it took her a while to get back into a rhythm after retiring in 2018.
"The biggest change was how I take care of my body and how I throw my bullpens," Osterman said. "I've always been one of those who love to throw, and I like to throw a lot, and I had to cut bullpens down to make sure they were quick and efficient. The other thing is to do yoga, stretch and make sure that I exercise in the days in between. I actually get stiffer when I don't do anything since I'm a little older. Wish I was 25, hop off the couch and play a game. As for my pitching, you have to go with him work what works and I haven't done too much there. "
Athletes Unlimited will return to CBS Sports Network on Monday September 14th, where Team Osterman will face Team Ocasio. Osterman is grateful for the opportunity to play live this year in preparation for their Team USA run at the 2021 Olympics next summer.
"For me as an intense athlete, I like to see how people work and how everyone works in their own way," said Osterman. “The US national team, Canada and Italy are represented here. It gives us a little look at each other, which is fun. For me personally, I needed gaming experience after I retired. That gives me a lot of innings. After all, I'm in a good place both mentally and physically with hits in the box. I think it has already done more than its job which is exciting. It gives us all the opportunity to be together and once we get to the Olympics we will have that competitiveness and that camaraderie. "