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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Sport-By-Sport Report : SOFTBALL

U.S. Gives Up a Run, but Nothing Else

July 24, 1996

The pitching-strong U.S. Olympic softball staff showed its human side, finally giving up a run in the third day of competition in Columbus, Ga.

It still didn't matter.

Japan's Haruka Saito hit a solo home run in the fifth, but left-hander Michele Smith shook it off and threw a three-hitter, striking out 11 as the undefeated Americans won, 6-1.

Kim Maher gave the U.S. team (3-0) all the runs necessary with a three-run homer in the first inning.

Lisa Fernandez added a three-run homer in the sixth after Laura Berg was hit by a pitch and Julie Smith singled.

The Americans had 10 hits, drew three walks and had two batters hit by a pitch, but stranded eight runners.

Michele Smith allowed only a bunt single until the fifth.

*

China edged Canada, 2-1. . . . Taiwan routed the Netherlands, 7-1. After each team plays seven games in a round-robin schedule, the top four advance to the semifinals on July 29.

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