Wednesday's Sports in Brief

The Associated Press Published:

U.S. tops Italy: The United States beat Italy in soccer for the first time in 11 games over 78 years, taking a 1-0 exhibition victory on Clint Dempsey's goal in the 55th minute.

Dempsey took a short pass from Jozy Altidore following Michael Bradley's cross and put a right-footed shot from just inside the penalty area just past an outstretched hand of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. It was his 25th goal in 83 international appearances.

American women win: Alex Morgan scored two goals, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux had one apiece, and the United States opened defense of its Algarve Cup title with a 5-0 win over Denmark on Tuesday night.

Terse Tiger: Tiger Woods' road to the Masters got off to a bumpy start when he got into a terse exchange with a magazine reporter at the Honda Classic over excerpts from his former swing coach's new book, particularly a part about Woods' desire to become a Navy Seal.

If that wasn't enough, he fielded 10 questions about his putting.

Hank Haney's book, "The Big Miss," is scheduled for release March 27, the week before the Masters.

Woods, who has gone more than two years without winning on the PGA Tour and is approaching the four-year anniversary of his last major championship, did not look as comfortable as he had in dealings with the media earlier this year.

• Football

Request rejected: The judge in Jerry Sandusky's 52-count child sex-abuse case rejected a defense attorney's request for a two-month delay and indicated he was reluctant to push back the May 14 start of jury selection.

College H.O.F candidates: Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks Eric Crouch, Danny Wuerffel, Vinny Testaverde and Ty Detmer are among first-time candidates on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot this year.

Ward released: Four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Hines Ward, who holds Pittsburgh Steelers records for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, is being released.

"We had a conversation today with Hines Ward and informed him that we plan to release him of his contract prior to the start of the 2012 NFL calendar year," Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a statement on the team's website. "Hines has been an integral part of our success since we drafted him in 1998, and we will forever be grateful for what he has helped us achieve."

Hall of Fame game: The NFL said the Arizona Cardinals will play the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 5 to kick off the preseason in the Hall of Fame game.

Last season's Hall of Fame game was canceled because of the NFL lockout.

• Baseball

Burnett hurt: Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett was struck in the face by a batted ball and will fly from the team's spring training complex to Pittsburgh to have his right eye examined by team doctors.

Hit in the right temple during a bunting drill, a dazed Burnett dropped into a crouch near home plate. Players who had gathered to watch the drill gasped loudly then went quiet as Burnett sagged to his knees.

Delivers baby: Pittsburgh Pirates' director of Florida operations Trevor Gooby delivered a baby when a fan went into labor during an event Tuesday night at McKechnie Field.

"We were waiting for the ambulance and she kept saying, 'This baby's coming,'" Gooby said. "She gave one push, the baby came out and I caught it. I did my best (outfielder Andrew) McCutchen impersonation."

The boy, who was born five weeks early, will be named McKechnie.

Anchor suspended: San Diego TV sports anchor Ross Shimabuku was suspended for implying a sexist slur when talking about race car driver Danica Patrick.

Fox 5 San Diego tweeted late Tuesday that Shimabuku was suspended without pay for a week for his comments about Patrick before her Sprint Cup debut in the Daytona 500.

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