Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

69. Cat Osterman

United States
Age: 25

Osterman's ERA in Athens, where the U.S. softball team won gold: 0.00. At the '07 World Cup, where she went 2-0 for another title team: 0.00. And that's softball's problem: Americans like Cat are just too good. The IOC dropped softball from the 2012 Olympics in London due to lack of interest outside the Americas and Asia. Overwhelming American dominance didn't help (the U.S. has won all three gold medals since the sport made the Olympics in 1996. It outscored its Athens opponents 51-1). Although softball could make it back for '16, it's a bittersweet time for Osterman, the left-handed ace of the Beijing-bound pitching staff. "If we get penalized for our excellence," she says, "there's something wrong with the Olympic Games."