Cat Osterman lost Saturday for the first time in the short history of Athletes Unlimited, a result that also marked her first defeat in any professional softball league in more than five years.
Behind Sahvanna Jaquish's two home runs off Osterman and a strong complete-game performance by ace Haylie Wagner, Team Hayward beat Team Osterman 4-1.
Saturday was the first day of the league's fourth week.
"It's definitely a great feeling, especially the fourth time around," Wagner said. "But she is a great competitor. I love competing against her. I know when I go out there it's going to be a tough game and she's going to bring her best stuff."
In its first season, Athletes Unlimited is a four-team league in which players earn points based on individual and team performance. The four high scorers each week serve as captains for the following week and draft new teams. The individual points leader for the season is crowned champion.
Osterman is in her third consecutive week serving as a team captain and remains the overall points leader.
Saturday marked Osterman's first loss in a professional league since pitching for the USSSA Pride and losing a 1-0 pitching duel against Monica Abbott and the Chicago Bandits in the final game of the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch championship series.
Osterman retired from competitive softball after the 2015 NPF season but announced a comeback in the fall of 2018 in hopes of pitching in the 2020 Olympics. She made the U.S. roster the following year but pitched exclusively for Team USA. She also pitched briefly for independent teams this summer, first for Scrap Yard Dawgs and then for the player-led This Is Us.
Osterman, who is 37 and wears No. 38 in Athletes Unlimited in recognition of her age for next summer's rescheduled Olympics, has dominated Athletes Unlimited in its first season. Even after Saturday's loss, she leads the league in ERA (1.17), innings pitched (48) and strikeouts (68).
Osterman's teams were unbeaten in nine games entering Saturday, including seven starts and eight overall appearances by the ace.
With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning Saturday, Jaquish hit a one-out home run that gave her team the lead for good. Osterman's former teammate with Team USA, Jaquish added an insurance run with a home run in the top of the seventh inning. She now has three home runs against Osterman on the season, the same total as the rest of the league combined.
Earlier Saturday, Aleshia Ocasio took what would have been the league's first no-hitter into the sixth inning of her start for Team Warren. Despite missing a week because of a family emergency, she is fifth in the overall standings behind Osterman, Victoria Hayward, Jessica Warren and Janie Reed.
The round-robin weekly schedule continues with doubleheaders Sunday and Monday.