<
>

Harding likely to start vs. United States

8/22/2004

ATHENS, Greece -- Kerry Wyborn hit a three-run double and
Tanya Harding pitched another shutout as Australia beat Japan 3-0
on Sunday, setting up a rematch with the United States in the gold
medal game.

Harding, who didn't start when the Aussies lost 5-0 to the U.S.
team in the semifinals earlier on Sunday, blanked Japan on three
hits. She's 4-0 and hasn't given up a run in 33 innings in the
tournament.

Australia has been outscored 15-0 in its two losses in these
games against the Americans, whose eight wins have all been
shutouts. The United States beat Australia 10-0 in five innings on Aug. 15, and 5-0 in Sunday's semifinal.

Harding has beaten the U.S. team twice before in Olympic play --
the only pitcher ever to do so. She'll likely start the gold medal
game, too. With the win over Japan, the Aussies are guaranteed at
least a silver medal after winning bronze in the past two Olympics.

Japan (5-4), which defeated China 1-0 in Sunday's first
semifinal, won the bronze medal. Four years ago at Sydney, Japan
took silver.

With the score tied 0-0, Simmone Morrow opened the fifth with a
single off Juri Takayama and went to third on left fielder Yuki
Sato's two-base error. The Aussies (7-2) loaded the bases on a walk
and hit batter before Wyborn laced her hit into the gap in
left-center.