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Simmone records two homers as Australia edges China 3-1 at Beijing Games softball
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14:37, August 14, 2008

The world number three Australia proved its supremacy on Thursday as Simmone Morrow's two homers propelled them to beat China 3-1 at the Beijing Olympic softball tournament.

Australia, the silver medallist at Athens Olympics, took the sudden lead in the top first inning when the lead off batter Simmone Morrow hit a solo homer to stun the host.

China's starting pitcher Yu Huili endured the huge pressure later to smash the opponent's loaded base after surrendering back-to-back walkaway.

However, a hot batting Simmone seemed to know Yu's pitch well and delivered a two-run homer in the second inning to edge the lead to 3-0.

China had to change the pitcher after the blow with left-handed Li Qi on. Reliefer Li tossed perfect in the following five innings, striking out eight batters and allowing no hits.

With Li's steady pitch in the circle, China succeeded to narrow the gap in the bottom third inning when Yu Yanhong's single hit drove Zhang Lifang home to get the sole run of the game.

Chinese head coach Wang Lihong labeled the game as normal.

"They have lost two games and made a desperate fight for today's victory," said Wang.

"Aussies are much stronger than us in the offence and we can see this from today's game. But they got a lucky homer in the opening and that was disastrous for us because it affected our players' confidence," she added.

In 2006 world championship, China lost to Australia in the bronze final and finished fourth in the 16-team tournament.

On Friday, China will play Canada for the fourth round competitions.

"However, it will not affect our confidence to grab the medal. We will play more aggressively in the following games to reach the top four and enter the finals," said Wang.

The eight teams will play in a round-robin fomat at the preliminaries and the top four winners will contest for medas in the page system.

Source:Xinhua

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1 China 20 7 5 32
2 USA 10 8 13 31
3 South Korea 6 6 1 13
5 Germany 6 1 2 9
4 Japan 5 2 3 10
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