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United States Blanks Taiwan, Advances to Semifinals

Saturday, August 21, 2004; Page D14

Seven straight Olympic shutouts. The U.S. softball team is rolling like no team in history.

Cat Osterman struck out 10 in six innings, Crystl Bustos homered and the United States (7-0) completed its run through the preliminary round with a 3-0 win over Taiwan, setting up a U.S.-Australia showdown in the semifinals.

Amanda Freed, right, and the U.S. softball team earned its seventh consecutive shutout of these Olympics with a 3-0 victory over Taiwan on Friday. (Tami Chappell - Reuters)

_____ Day 8 _____
Michael Phelps wins his fifth gold, then gives up his spot in the 400 medley relay.
Alan Webb doesn't make it out of the preliminaries in the 1,500 meters.
Running in the Olympics is a giant step for several women.
The British are considering a protest of Aaron Peirsol's gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke.
Bethesda native Joe Jacobi bids the Games farewell.
The dominating U.S. softball team shuts out Taiwan, 3-0.
The U.S. women's basketball team upends Spain, 71-58.
A bronze medal-winning Greek weightlifter fails a drug test.
New Jersey native Matt Emmons wins a gold in the 50-meter rifle.
Inge De Bruijn advances to defend her 50-meter freestyle title.
French claim gold, bronze medals in single kayak slalom.

_____ More From The Post _____
Michael Wilbon: Alan Webb ran one incredibly bad race at the worst time imaginable.
Sally Jenkins: Why does sportsmanship matter? It's a deceptively simple question.
Mike Wise: The U.S. women's soccer team hopes to complete its pixie-dust path.
At 44, Merlene Ottey is running past women less than half her age.

_____ On Our Site _____
Athens Snippets: How did the U.S. boxing program slip so fast?

___ Friday's Medals Results ___
Women's team
Men's 20km walk
Men's doubles
Canoe-Kayak (Slalom Racing)
Men's canoe double
Men's kayak single
Cycling (Track)
Women's 500-meter time trial
Men's 1km time trial final
Women's team epee
Gymnastics (Trampoline)
Women's individual
Men's 100kg-plus
Women's 78kg-plus
Women's 50-meter rifle 3-position
Men's 50-meter rifle prone
Men's 50 freestyle
Men's 100 butterfly
Women's 200 backstroke
Women's 800 freestyle
Table Tennis
Women's doubles
Women's 75kg

_____ Multimedia _____
Audio: Mike Ruane on Phelps.

_____ Photos _____
Day 8
Photo galleries page

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Through seven games, the Americans have outscored their opponents 41-0, allowed 11 hits, permitted three runners to reach third and are poised to rewrite the Olympic record book.

"We want to dominate," center fielder Amanda Freed said.

Having cruised through round robin play unscathed, the United States moves into tomorrow's semifinals for a rematch with Australia, the only team to beat the Americans twice in the Olympics.

And the pitcher who got both of those wins -- Tanya Harding -- likely will start for the Aussies.

"I'm kind of thinking she might be on the mound," said U.S. Coach Mike Candrea, who will go with Jennie Finch or Lisa Fernandez.

Both gladly would take the ball. "I want to start every day," Fernandez said.

"I hope I do start," Finch said, "but if I don't I'll support whoever is."

The Americans beat Australia, 10-0, Aug. 15 in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.

-- From News Services

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