Following Team USA’s 2-0 loss to Japan in the gold-medal game, pitcher Cat Osterman gave an emotional postgame interview with Jessica Mendoza. Despite the loss, the 38-year-old said she wouldn’t change a thing.
“Sometimes it’s just not your day,” Osterman said through tears. “Unfortunately it’s just not been our day twice now. If you told me this was the ending and I had to redo it, I would choose to do it all over again because this team has heart, has fight.”
She added that she was proud of the team’s resilience, revealing that up until June they hadn’t had the coaching staff they brought with them to the Olympics.
When asked what advice she would give to young girls out there, Osterman said that perspective is key and knowing how to bounce back or bounce forward is a vital part of the game.
"To all the little girls, keep dreaming the dream" - @catosterman 💕#OlympicHERstory pic.twitter.com/8Qo0QMZUFQ— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) July 27, 2021
"To all the little girls, keep dreaming the dream" - @catosterman 💕#OlympicHERstory pic.twitter.com/8Qo0QMZUFQ
“This team, obviously it’s a heartbreak that we’re coming home not with the gold,” she said. “But at the same time you look at it, we have a silver medal. How many people would give for that? So learn from it, but also accept where you are in the present moment, and this team is gonna do that.”
USA Softball manager Ken Eriksen also spoke with Mendoza after the game, saying it just wasn’t their day but he was proud of his team’s effort.
“For us, you can make all the excuses in the world you want, but you’ve gotta give credit to Japan,” he said. “The pressure was on them in their home country. (Reika Utsugi) was really letting it all out at the end there.
“Today wasn’t our day, it was Japan’s day and I’m really, really happy for them.”
Eriksen then revealed that he intends to retire as manager of USA Softball.
“Well, I’m done,” he said matter of factly. “That’s it for me. It’s been a long time wearing USA, as a player, as a coach… For me, it’s time to get back to real life.”
Osterman, who also played her last game for USA Softball, isn’t dwelling on the experience.
“I gave it all I had. I’m not gonna lie,” she said. “I have no regrets. I don’t take back a single pitch from the two innings I threw tonight. I’m proud of everything I did on this stage and it just didn’t work out, but I’m proud of the journey.”