GLADSTONE - The Little League state tournament series gets underway Friday when the Major Girls division begins action in Gladstone.
A field of 13 teams will participate at Howes Family Field and Cannon Field at the Gladstone Sports Park. Three teams decided not to play.
Escanaba, the District 10 champion, will help start the age 11-12 tournament when it faces District 5 winner Taylor Northwest at 10 a.m. at Cannon Field.
At Howes Field, District 7 champion St. Clair faces District 3 champion Dexter at 10 a.m.
Official opening ceremonies will be held at Howes Field after completion of the first games. A tourney picnic will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Gladstone High School and a team challenge and individual challenge events will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Teams from Beaverton, West Portage, Boyne City, Grand Rapids Western, Negaunee, Tri-Rivers Indian River, Essexville Hampton, Constantine and Tecumseh complete the field.
Escanaba plays Negaunee at noon Saturday and West Portage at noon Sunday as teams try to earn spots in Monday's pool play that includes eight qualifying teams.
Games will continue through the weekend, with the championship game Tuesday, starting about 2 p.m. The winner advances to Indianapolis for the regional tournament July 20.