Softball's Cat Osterman retiring in 2021, but may play beyond Olympics

Athletes Unlimited will return for its second season of professional softball in 2021. And fresh off winning the league's inaugural championship, Cat Osterman isn't ruling out a title defense before she calls it a career.

Osterman, 37, intended to retire from softball after competing for the United States in the 2020 Olympics. When that event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the pitcher instead signed with the new softball league that played its five-week season in the Chicago area.

The four-team league announced Tuesday that it would return for a second season in 2021 in the Chicago area, with a schedule running from the end of August through September. And while committing to closing out one of softball's most storied careers at some point next year, Osterman left open the possibility of playing beyond next summer's Olympics.

"I will retire in 2021," Osterman said. "It's just whether it's July or October, we're not quite sure yet."

After not pitching in a professional league since 2015, Osterman dominated the first season of a league in which rosters change weekly and one player wins the championship based on points earned through both team and individual performance. She won the title by 388 points, the margin between first and second place greater than the margin between second and 10th.

USA Softball announced earlier this year that it would retain its current Olympic roster for the rescheduled Olympics, assuring Osterman an opportunity to win her second gold medal and third medal overall if the Games take place.