By Scott Moore
Transcript Sports Editor
OKLAHOMA CITY — Cat Osterman thought she pitched well Friday against Australia. But the Team U.S.A. pitcher felt like she walked too many batters.
She walked three.
“I felt like I could have pitched better,” Osterman said.
As much success as she’s had at the University of Texas and with the national team, maybe perfection is the only thing that will satisfy her.
She wasn’t perfect in Friday’s 3-1 win over the Australian’s, but she was close. She struck out 14 and allowed just one hit in a complete game performance on the second day of the World Cup of Softball at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
“She is a perfectionist,” said catcher Jenny Topping. “But I think you have to be as a pitcher.”
The Americans needed Osterman’s arm Friday as their bats were still misfiring for the second straight night. They scored all three runs in the first inning off pitching mistakes, and totaled just five hits for the game.
But the win puts the Americans back in contention for a spot in Monday’s Gold Medal game. Team U.S.A. will play its final two pool games today, facing China at 11 a.m. and Japan at 8 p.m.
Because of Thursday’s surprising 2-1 loss to Canada, Team U.S.A. will probably have to win both games to earn a shot at the title.
“That’s kind of how we’re approaching it,” said coach Mike Candrea.
Despite lacking their usual offensive punch, the Americans were in complete control Friday thanks to Osterman.
They scored all three runs in the bottom of the first inning off pitcher Catherine Bishop. Bishop didn’t allow a hit, but she struggled with her control, walking four and throwing four wild pitches.
Australia went with Jocelyn McCallum for the final five innings, who shut out the Americans and allowed five hits. It was the second straight night Team U.S.A. was held to five hits.
“We’re just not clicking right now on offense,” Candrea said. “We’re kind of fighting ourselves right now and trying to get that big hit.
“But it was good to see Cat having that kind of performance.”
Osterman allowed only one ball to reach the outfield in the game and struck out five in row on two occasions.
“When Cat trusts her pitching, a batter never has a chance,” Topping said. “In that situation, she’s unbeatable.”
By Scott Moore