AUSTIN, Texas – A powerful new coaching partnership for St. Edward’s University Softball is announced today as two NCAA All-Americans and an Olympic Gold Medalist take leadership roles. NCAA All-American Lindsay Gardner is named Head Softball Coach and Cat Osterman, also an NCAA All-American, and an Olympic Gold Medalist is selected as Assistant Coach.
Gardner and Osterman have a built-in advantage in their new assignment. The two have crossed paths as teammates and remained friends since 1999 when they played two years together in the Houston area on the Katy Cruisers Travel Team. Both were teammates on the USA National Team in 2001 and 2002 and also at the University of Texas in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, the duo helped Texas reach the Women’s College World Series. Gardner and Osterman teamed up again as they were both members of the Rockford Thunder in the National Pro Fastpitch League in 2007.
“Lindsay is a fantastic addition to our staff and she is a proven winner in everything that she has been a part of,” said Debbie Taylor, director of athletics. “She understands and appreciates the importance of building character and what it means to be a true student-athlete, and that success extends beyond the playing field, to the classroom and as role models within the community. The energy between Lindsay and Cat is palpable and I’m excited to see what they can do together.”
Gardner has served as the Head Coach/Co-Founder of Platinum Softball for the past two years and has been a private hitting and fielding instructor in the Austin area for the past three years. Her 18U Platinum squad has all three eligible seniors committed to play collegiately this year.
“This position has been a dream of mine and I am eager to share my knowledge and passion for the sport with the talented athletes in this program,” said Gardner. “I am thankful for the chance to be back on the Hilltop. I would like to thank Debbie Taylor and St. Edward’s University for this wonderful opportunity.”
The sixth softball coach in the university’s history, Gardner comes back to St. Edward’s after serving as the assistant coach in 2007 and 2008. She helped guide the Hilltoppers in back-to-back appearances in the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament. In 2008, the squad advanced to the NCAA World Series and finished tied for third in the nation. That team broke the school record for wins with a 53-17 record and the Hilltopper coaching staff was honored as the NFCA South Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
A native of Katy, Texas, Gardner graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. While at UT, she was a four-year letterwinner for the Longhorns, gaining All-America honors in 2000. She was a three-time Big 12 all conference performer and Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2000, at which time she also set the UT single season record with a .421 batting average.
“I am thrilled to announce Cat as my assistant coach,” Gardner said. “Cat brings in an invaluable amount of experience and knowledge, not only in pitching, but in many aspects of the game. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with her as a coach. We played together throughout each of our careers and have always shared a passion for the game and a drive to be successful. Together we hope to light a spark in the St. Edward’s softball program and community.”
A native of Houston, Texas, Osterman graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While at UT, Osterman was a three-time National Player of the Year and four-time All-American. The only softball individual to ever win National Player of the Year honors three times, she paced the Longhorns to three trips to the Women's College World Series (2003, 2005 and 2006) while earning USA Softball's National Player of the Year honor in each of those three seasons. During her redshirt season of 2004, Osterman trained with the USA National Team as the only collegian and youngest member of the Olympic Team that earned a gold medal in Athens. A three-time selection as Big 12 Conference Female Athlete of the Year (2003, 2005 and 2006), she still holds UT career records in victories (136), ERA (0.51), shutouts (85) and no-hitters (20) and holds the NCAA record for career strikeout ratio per seven innings (14.35). Osterman was a recipient of the NCAA Today's Top VIII Award in 2006, an honor presented to the top eight senior student-athletes in the country.
Osterman pitched for the USA National Team from 2001-2010 appearing in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Team USA took home the Gold in 2004 and finished with the Silver Medal in 2008. In her 10-year career with Team USA, Osterman held a 59-4 record with 0.38 ERA. She struck out an amazing 832 batters in just 425.2 innings of work.
On the coaching side of things, Osterman was a student assistant coach at Texas in 2007 while finishing her undergraduate degree. From there, she moved to DePaul University where she was assistant coach from 2008 to 2010. She helped lead the Lady Blue Demons to three-straight Big East Championships, two NCAA Regional appearances and a 129-50 record.
“I am excited to get back into coaching and to have the chance to make an impact on young players,” Osterman said. “Lindsay and I have a long history together in the softball world and I feel the two of us together can do great things. We have a great friendship and working relationship. The opportunity to improve on an already successful program is something Lindsay and I are thrilled about and we want to see how far we can take this team.”
As a member of NCAA Division II and the Heartland Conference, St. Edward’s, has captured 46 conference titles, advanced to the NCAA tournament 48 times and has produced 30 All-Americans and 24 Academic All-Americans since 1999.
Founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross, St. Edward's University is named among the top five "Up-and-Coming Universities" in the Western Region by its academic peers in a 2011 U.S. News & World Report survey. For eight consecutive years St. Edward's has been recognized as one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report. St. Edward’s has also been named one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability.