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5 U.S. softball players retire, 3 from L.A. area

August 23, 2008 |  7:52 pm

The Americans' cleats on home plate.

BEIJING -- One thing that may have been missed after the U.S. softball players were awarded their silver medals was a picture of a different kind of ceremony.

Five players left their cleats on home plate, symbolizing their retirement from USA Softball.

Three of them are from the Los Angeles area: Lovieanne Jung of Fountain Valley, Laura Berg of Santa Fe Springs and Crystl Bustos of Canyon Country.

Joining them were Tairia Flowers of Tucson, Ariz., and Kelly Kretschman of Indian Harbour Springs, Fla.

The U.S. loss to Japan marked the final time softball will be played at the Olympics.

-- Debbie Goffa

Photo of the cleats on home plate by Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images