Cat Osterman pitched out of trouble just in time to make Team USA a champion again.
Australia had the go-ahead run at bat and its best hitter on deck when Osterman induced a liner by Kylie Cronk for the final out of Team USA’s sweep of the World Cup of Softball, culminating in the 3-1 win over the Aussies on Monday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Players such as Osterman, Lauren Lappin and Andrea Duran made crucial plays for Team USA on Monday, but throughout the week, it seemed someone different was stepping up every night.
"It was a full team effort all week long,” said Lappin, who homered to give Team USA its initial lead in the bottom of the third inning. "One through nine, plus nine on the bench can contribute in this lineup. If I’m not getting the job done, I know my teammate behind me is going to.”
In defeat, the Australian pitching staff found some success, holding the Americans to a team-low three runs by mixing fireballer Justine Smethurst with junk-ball specialist Aimee Murch.
"That was tough,” Lappin said. "We stuck through it and were able to put three runs on the board.”
The challenge was beneficial for a team with 10 first-year players that is trying to build for the future.
"To come through and bring home two gold medals in the two tournaments we’ve played so far is great,” said Osterman, a former Texas star.