US beats Japan 4-1 to advance to gold-medal game

BEIJING (AP) – Crystl Bustos hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning as the U.S. Olympic softball team beat Japan 4-1 in extra innings and will play for its fourth straight gold medal. The Americans (8-0) pushed across four in the ninth Wednesday to extend their Olympic winning streak to 22 games.

Tied after seven, the teams went to the international tiebreaker in the eighth as both began their at-bats with a runner at second base.

Bustos, softball’s greatest power hitter, hit her fifth homer of the games and 13th of her Olympic career. Monica Abbott pitched eight shutout innings for the U.S., which could face Japan again for gold Thursday


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