U.S. downs Japan for 7th title in row

CARACAS, Venezuela -- The United States defeated Japan 7-0 on Friday to win its seventh consecutive world softball championships and get some revenge for the last Olympics.

U.S. team went undefeated in the tournament. Japan, which won gold at the last Olympics, took the silver medal and Canada won bronze.

"It's very sweet that it was Japan, and it was a knockout," U.S. manager Jay Miller said.

Alisa Haber lined an RBI single in the fourth to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead and Jennie Finch singled home Haber to make it 2-0.

Lauren Lappin tripled in two more, then scored on a wild pitch to give the U.S. a 5-0 lead.

Andrea Duran hit a two-run homer to cap the scoring in the fifth.

Starting pitcher Catherine Osterman wrapped an American flag around her shoulders following the game amid a roaring applause from the crowd.

Earlier, Japan defeated Canada 12-3 to set up the final.

Rei Nishiyama drove in two runs in the first with a single. In the third, Natoko Mabuchi singled in a run and Emi Matsuoka had an RBI doubled to put Japan on top 4-0.

Eri Yamada's RBI single made it 5-0 in the fourth and Japan scored eight more in the seventh.