Robert Husseman, The Triplicate

Softball All-Stars to head south for next round

This week was a historic one for Del Norte Little League softball.

Del Norte's 9andndash;10 Softball All-Stars and 11andndash;12 Softball All-Stars won District 26 titles and advanced to their respective California Little League Division II tournaments. Today is the first game for both teams.

"We don't bring home banners very often," 9andndash;10 All-Stars coach Mark

Horner said. "This is a serious point of pride. We've got girls in our

town that are 9 to 12 years old that are very talented."

The 9andndash;10 All-Stars travel to West Sacramento to face an opponent from

California District 4, which encompasses Oakland and its surrounding

suburbs. The game begins at 11 a.m.

The 11andndash;12 All-Stars travel to Martinez to face a team from California

District 59, which encompasses leagues in San Jose and neighboring

Milpitas and Gilroy, in the first round. The game begins at 4:30 p.m.

Each team engaged in some 11th-hour fundraising to offset the cost of

getting players and coaches to the tournament sites. The 9andndash;10

All-Stars, for example, raised over $1,000 through a car wash Thursday.

Local benefactor Angie Galindo contributed $1,250 to each team, and

Del Norte Little League added $1,500 apiece to help cover the softball

teams' expenses.

"It's the opportunity of a lifetime," said Tim Nolan, coach of the

11andndash;12 All-Stars. "It would be hard to pass up without the community

support. It's great that the community is doing this. They know we're

representing Del Norte in the Bay Area."

The winners of the All-Stars Division II tournaments will advance to a

six-team regional tournament for the right to represent Northern

California in the Little League softball Western Regional Tournament in

San Bernardino on July 21andndash;27, the penultimate step in the championship

hierarchy. The Little League Softball World Series takes place in

Portland, Ore., in August.

Reach Robert Husseman at