Regional Little League softball tournaments feature 2 Alaskan teams
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Nunaka Valley Little League softball team in the Juniors division and the Palmer Little League softball team in the Majors division are both playing in regional tournaments Outside after winning state titles in their divisions.
This is the first time ever that a team from Palmer Little League has made it to a regional tournament. The Palmer team dominated their district competition and then swept Juneau in three straight games to qualify for the 2022 LLS Northwest Region Tournament held in San Bernadino, California.
“It’s pretty cool,” Jazelyn MacMullen said. “It is really nice to be here because I never really imagined us being here and it’s just really cool to get to know everybody in the Western Regionals.”
The Majors division of Little League softball is made up of girls that are 9-12 years old. The team is already in San Bernadino and will play the winner of a game between Oregon and Idaho.
“We’ve have had some pretty good baseball teams but we have never made it out of state before we’ve either lost in the finals to somebody else at the state level or we have lost in the finals for the district finals,” said Palmer Little League President David Combs. ”For softball to do it first, it really shows how far our softball program has come.”
Palmer Little League’s first game will take place on July 24 and will be streamed on ESPN plus at 8 a.m. Alaska time. The big stage has brought a nervous excitement over the team, but their coach says they just have to keep it simple.
“That first time we walk on the field with the place full of fans, it’s kind of hard to control but it’s the same game you have always played, kind of try and block out everything outside of the field and just focus on what you know how to do,” said Palmer Little League head coach Ronnie Shaw.
The Nunuka Valley Little League softball team plays in the Juniors division, which is made up of girls who are 12-14 years old. This is not Nunuka Valley’s first time making it to the 2022 Western Regional Junior Girls Softball Tournament, as they carry experience into this year’s regional tournament.
The team members noted that they will have to adjust to the California heat, traveling from record-breaking rainfall over the past week in Alaska to over 90-degree temperatures in California is just one of the many adjustments that Nunaka Valley will have to make to be successful.
Nunuka Valley traveled to Tucson, Arizona for the tournament and will be playing their first game on July 23 against a team from Northern California.
Make sure to tune into Alaska’s Sports Source as we follow both teams in their regional tournaments.
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