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Could this loss actually bring back Olympic softball?

Updated: August 21, 2008, 4:00 PM ET
By Elizabeth Merrill | ESPN.com

BEIJING -- Crystl Bustos and Laura Berg were supposed to leave their cleats on the field. It was going to be a symbolic gesture, their goodbye as the fog set in and a sport drifted away. They'd collect their gold medals shortly after 9 p.m., just before the critics said one last time that this is the reason softball is ending at the Olympics, because the rest of the world can't compete.

Bustos' cleats never surfaced late Thursday night … and neither did the national anthem. She walked ...

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