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Sports briefs

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 9 2010 12:20 a.m. MST

U.S. women stay alive in World Cup bid

CANCUN, Mexico — Lauren Cheney scored an early goal, Abby Wambach added two and the United States stayed alive in qualifying for next year's Women's World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica on Monday night.

The top-ranked U.S. had been 19-0 in qualifying before Friday's stunning 2-1 defeat to Mexico in the semifinals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region. That defeat forced the two-time champions into a must-win third-place game against the No. 47 Ticas.

Now U.S. will play 11th-ranked Italy, the No. 5 team in European qualifying, in a home-and-home, total-goals series for the final World Cup berth. The first match is at Padova on Nov. 20 and the second at Bridgeview, Ill., on Nov. 27. The U.S. is 8-4-1 against Italy, including 2-0-2 since 2001.

Packers' safety fined $50K for helmet hit

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The NFL fined Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins $50,000 on Monday for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams.

In a statement, league officials said Collins "violently and unnecessarily struck a defenseless receiver" in the neck and head area with his helmet during Sunday night's game at Lambeau Field and called it a "flagrant violation of player safety rules." Collins went helmet-to-helmet with Williams after an incompletion in the third quarter of the Packers' 45-7 victory over the Cowboys Sunday night.

Miller, Morgan are out on Sunday telecast

BRISTOL, Conn. — After 21 seasons, Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are out as announcers on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball." "Over the last two decades, Joe went from Hall of Fame player to one of his sport's top analysts and Jon's Hall of Fame voice and tremendous knowledge of the game have connected with baseball fans everywhere," ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson said in a statement Monday. "We owe them our deepest thanks for an outstanding body of work."

The network did not announce replacements.

Miller, the play-by-play voice, received the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2010 Ford C. Frick Award. Morgan, the color commentator, was a two-time National League MVP with the Cincinnati Reds. The second baseman was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990.

2 women skate into Hockey Hall of Fame

TORONTO — The Hockey Hall of Fame opened its doors to women for the first time on Monday.

Angela James of Canada and Cammi Granato of the United States received their Hall of Fame rings.

They were inducted with former NHL star Dino Ciccarelli, builder Jim Devellano and the late Daryl "Doc" Seaman, one of the founders of the Calgary Flames.

When women's hockey made its debut at the 1998 Olympics, Granato and the U.S. team won gold with a victory over Canada.

Ciccarelli also overcame long odds to claim his spot in the Hall, having never been drafted by an NHL team. Eventually, he would sign with the Minnesota North Stars as a free agent and embark on a career that saw him score 608 goals in the NHL

—Deseret News staff and wire services

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