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U.S. Softball Cruises Past China in Another Shutout

Wednesday, August 18, 2004; Page D11

Lori Harrigan twirled her index finger like a conductor's baton, leading the American fans' serenade.

"H-A-Double-R-I," they bellowed as she headed for the team bus, "G-A-N, spells Harrigan."


U.S. pitcher Lori Harrigan tosses a one-hitter in a 4-0 victory over China. (Mike Finn-kelcey -- Reuters)

_____ Day 5 _____
 Olympics
Michael Phelps adds two gold medals to his total in Athens.
The U.S. women's gymnastics team wins silver.
The U.S. men's basketball team barely gets by Greece, 77-71.
The United States wins its first fencing medals in twenty years.
The U.S. men's relay team upsets Australia to win gold.
The U.S. softball team shuts out China.
The U.S. women's soccer team ties Australia, but advances to the quarterfinals.
U.S. pair Misty May and Kerri Walsh cruise in beach volleyball.
U.S. crews advance in individual and team events.
Notebook: U.S. sprinter Torri Edwards lost her appeal of a two-year drug ban.

_____ More From The Post _____
Michael Wilbon: Lamar Odom's timely and subtle contributions keep U.S. hopes alive.
Sally Jenkins: The IOC is concerned only with ceremony, not with words and acts.
Mike Wise: Boxer Rau'Shee Warren is small in stature, but big on desire.

_____ On Our Site _____
Athens Snippets: Turning fashion on its head.
Graphic: See the difference between swords in fencing.

___ Tuesday's Medals Results ___
Swimming
Women's 200-meter freestyle
Men's 200-meter butterfly
Women's 200-meter IM
Men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay

Gymnastics
Women's Artistic Team Final

Fencing
Women's Individual Sabre
Men's Individual Epee

Judo
Men's 81kg
Women's 63kg

Shooting
Men's 50-meter free pistol
Men's double trap

_____ Multimedia _____
Audio: Phelps collects two golds.
Audio: U.S. women's gymnastics team takes silver.
Audio: U.S. softball beats China.

_____ Photos _____
Day 5
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Day 3

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It's a familiar tune. So was the U.S. team's fourth straight shutout. Harrigan, a two-time gold medalist, pitched a one-hitter, and Crystl Bustos broke out of her slump with a home run in a 4-0 win over China.

Lovieanne Jung had two RBI, and Leah O'Brien-Amico hit a run-scoring double as the United States ran its winning streak to 74 games and improved its international record against China to 10-1.

The United States now has 14 shutouts in 23 games since softball joined the Olympics in 1996.

"Numbers mean nothing to us right now," Coach Mike Candrea said. "There's a long way to go."

Harrigan's relief outing in the opener against Italy (three hits, 1 1/3 innings) was one of the few moments when the powerful U.S. team has shown any cracks. The 33-year-old atoned yesterday.

"She had her full arsenal," said catcher Jenny Topping, who had two hits. "She couldn't miss with a pitch."

Bustos connected for her first homer of the Games in the fifth inning to put the United States ahead 4-0. She had been in a 1-for-10 slump. As she left the batter's box, Bustos did a Sammy Sosa-like hop.

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