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U.S. Women’s Softball Team Loses

July 29, 1998

FUJINOMIYA, Japan (AP) _ The United States was beaten for the first time in 43 games at the women’s world softball championships today when Australia scored the winning run on an error in the 12th inning for a 2-1 victory.

Simmone Marrow scored the winning run in the bottom of the 12th when pitcher Lisa Fernandez made a bad throw to third base after fielding a grounder.

Morrow had opened the 12th on second base under a softball tie-break rule applied after seven regulation and two extra innings, allowing the team at bat to place a runner on second.

Australian pitcher Kelly Hardie went the distance, allowing six hits and striking out seven against the Americans, who had won nine consecutive games in this tournament

The U.S. team, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, still has a chance for its fourth straight world championship, and sixth overall.

The Americans will play Japan on Thursday. The winner of that game meets Australia for the championship, while the losing team takes the bronze medal.

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