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China tops Holland on first no-hitter

He Liping and Liu Yaju combined for the Games' first no-hitter, leading China to an 8-0 victory over the Netherlands Thursday.

Tao Hua hit her third home run and China had 13 hits off Netherlands pitchers Sonja Pannen and Jacqueline Knol.

"It's been very difficult for us," Dutch captain Anita Kossen said. "We're not No. 1, but we thought we'd give good competition to other teams."

The United States, a heavy favorite to win gold, survived a scare from Canada, scoring two runs in the final inning for a 4-2 victory that improved its record to 5-0.

China (4-1) clinched a spot in Tuesday's semifinals. China plays Chinese Taipei today and finishes the round-robin competition against the United States Saturday.

The Netherlands, winless in five games, was eliminated from medal contention.

In other action, Australia (3-2) beat Japan (2-3) 10-0 and Chinese Taipei (2-3) defeated Puerto Rico (1-4) 10-2.

The Chinese Taipei-Puerto Rico game was delayed two hours by rain. Chinese Taipei scored five runs in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead.

Australia had been shut out in its two losses.

Natalie Ward, Sally McDermid and Peta Edebone each hit a home run.