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Softball: Italy 1, New Zealand 0

September 21, 2000

BLACKTOWN, Australia (AP) _ Jie Hua’s RBI single in the fifth inning helped Italy beat New Zealand 1-0 on Wednesday and kept alive the Italians’ slim hopes of making the medal round.

Italy (2-3) would have been virtually eliminated with a loss. Even so, the Italians must still play powerhouses Japan and the United States, as does New Zealand (2-3).

Gina Weber pitched in her fifth consecutive game for the Kiwis. She came in to start the fifth and walked leadoff hitter Francesca Francolini, then threw a wild pitch to move the runner to second before Hua singled _ one of just two Italy hits.

Yue Fen Sun and Nicole Di Salvio combined on a three-hitter for Italy.

The top four in the eight-team tournament make the medal round after the seven-game round-robin.