Former Kodiak coach Richard Knowles has guided the Nunaka Valley softball team to the Junior Little League World Series.

The Anchorage-based team punched its ticket Tuesday by defeating Milton Freewater Little League of Oregon 5-3 in the Western Region finals, played in Arizona.

Knowles was the coach of the 1982 Kodiak Little League baseball team that won a state title. That team lost to the eventual Little League World Series champions Kirkland, Wash., in a Western Region semifinal.

Knowles also led the 1993 Kodiak Little League softball team to a state title.

Knowles left Kodiak in 1994 to live in Anchorage.

In 2009, Knowles coached this same group of Nunaka Valley girls to the Softball Little League World Series.

The Junior League is for 13- and 14-year-olds.

The world series starts Sunday in Kirkland, Wash., and features teams from the United States, Canada, Asia and Latin America.

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