NBCSports.com news services
updated 8/21/2008 8:45:22 AM ET 2008-08-21T12:45:22

The U.S. Olympic softball team was denied a fourth straight gold medal, losing 3-1 on Thursday to Japan in the sport’s final appearance in the games for at least eight years.

The Americans’ 22-game Olympic winning streak was snapped as Japan pitcher Yukiko Ueno handed them their first loss since Sept. 21, 2000 at Sydney.

Ueno pitched seven innings, one day after she pitched 21 to get the Japanese into the gold-medal game.

The International Olympic Committee voted softball off the 2012 program in London and the sport is hoping to be reinstated next year in time for the 2016 games.

Australia won the bronze after it was beaten by Japan on Wednesday.

© 2012 NBC Sports.com

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