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SOFTBALL: Japan beats U.S. for shot at gold

on July 14, 2013 2:10 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Misato Kawona hit a leadoff homer during a three-run first inning and added a run-scoring single in a three-run fourth, helping Japan beat the United States 7-4 on Saturday night in the eighth World Cup of Softball.

Misa Okubo went 3-for-4 for Japan (3-1), which clinched a berth in the gold-medal game with its second straight win over the U.S. (2-1) in international play.

Japan beat the U.S. in the gold-medal game in last year’s world championships.

Japan’s seven runs were the most scored against the U.S. in a major international tournament.

Still, the U.S. could advance to tonight’s title game with a win today over Puerto Rico (0-3).

The U.S. left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first after scoring a run.

Amanda Chidester hit a two-run homer for the Americans in the fifth.

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