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Little League stars begin shining Saturday

The dream begins again Saturday.

The Petaluma National Little League All-Stars lived that dream last summer when they played all the way to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. Will lightning strike twice in the same town? We begin finding out Saturday when Little League All-Star play starts in five age groups for Little League District 35 teams. The district stretches from Ukiah to Petaluma. Since all three Petaluma leagues are in the same district, only one local team in each age group has an opportunity to advance to the next level, which is section play. Early round games are played at various locations throughout the district, with later rounds played at selected host diamonds.

All three Petaluma 9-10-year-old teams open in town Saturday. Petaluma National starts on its home Carter Field against Sebastopol in a 2 p.m. game. Petaluma Valley is at Lucchesi Park against Westside Little League from Santa Rosa in an 11 a.m. game and Petaluma American follows at Lucchesi in a 2 p.m. contest against Rincon Valley National. The championship game is scheduled from 11 a.m. on July 7 at the Healdsburg Little League Field. A second game, if necessary, will be played July 8 at Healdsburg.

Petaluma National not only gets a first-round home game in the 10-11-year-old division, but also draws a first-round bye. The Nationals will play the winner of the Petaluma Valley vs. Rincon Valley National Saturday game at 11 a.m. Sunday. That winner's bracket game will be played at 11 a.m. at Carter Field. The Petaluma American plays at 2 p.m. Saturday against Sebastopol at the home of the Westside Little League in Santa Rosa. Host Westside is waiting for the winner of that game for a 2 p.m. Sunday match.

The championship game will be played July 9 at the home of the Westside Little League in Santa Rosa with a second game, if necessary, on July 10.

The Major League Tournament with 11-12-year-olds chasing the Williamsport dream lived by the National League last season, begins Saturday. Both Petaluma Valley and Petaluma American teams start at home, with the Valley playing at 2 p.m. at Murphy Field against the Mark West Youth Club, while Petaluma American is on its Lucchesi Park diamond for a 2 p.m. game against Sebastopol. Petaluma National, dreaming of a return to the Little League World Series, will play at the Santa Rosa American Little League field against Westside Little League in a 2 p.m. contest.

The Petaluma Valley will host the title game at Murphy Field on July 7, with a second game, if necessary on July 8.

The Petaluma National begins the Junior League Tournament for 13-14-year-olds on Thursday against Rincon Valley in a 5:30 p.m. game at El Molino. Petaluma American and Petaluma Valley go head-to-head Friday in a 5:30 p.m. at El Molino.

The district championship game will be played July 8 at the Rancho Cotati Little League field with the "if necessary game" scheduled for July 9 at El Molino.

Petaluma has no entries in the Senior League District Tournament for 15-16-year-olds beginning Saturday in Healdsburg. Winners in all age divisions advance to section tournaments.


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