Milford’s mother and daughter share a World Championship League

It’s been nearly a week since Milford Little League Softball hit their ticket to the Little League Softball World Series. It still feels surreal for 11-year-old Riley Fagan Davis.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Fagan Davis said. “It’s awesome. I can’t believe this is all happening. When we get on the bus, we’ll talk about it all the way.”

The Milford team departs by bus Friday morning for Greenville, North Carolina, for the Little League Softball World Series. New England champion Milford opened play on Wednesday against a team to be determined.

This is the first time that Milford’s Little League (aged 12) has advanced to the World Championship.

For Fagan-Davis, it will be 29 years after her mother played in her own world championship.

Donna Fagan played college softball at UConn. She was a junior on the Huskies that advanced to the 1993 College Softball World Championships.

“Going to the College World Series as a team from the Northeast is unheard of,” Fagan said. “At UConn, we didn’t have a lot of fans but when we went to Oklahoma (the series was held in Oklahoma City), there were thousands of people involved in every game.”

It was the first – and only – time that UConn had reached the World Championships. They were coached by Karen Mullins, who won 862 games in her 31-year career at the helm of the Husky.

UConn was unimpressed in the opener by UCLA’s Lisa Fernandez – who starred for the Brakettes and the US Olympic team. The husky then defeated the state of Florida before killing them in southwestern Louisiana.

Fagan, a native of Norwalk, returned to the Storrs last year when the 1993 team was honored.

“One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is that we were a tight team. We were all friends, very close,” Fagan recalls. “I think the (Milford) Little League kind of reminds me of a world championship team.”

Fagan Davis said, “It’s crazy to think my mom and I would have the same experience. You talk about it so much.”

Fagan-Davis has only been playing softball for a few years.

“Well, at first, I didn’t want to play softball. My mom talked about how great it was and about all the things I got with softball,” Fagan Davis said. “She was right, it’s so much fun. I’m glad I decided to start playing softball.”

In another bit of irony, Donna herself wasn’t nearly as playing softball. As she tells the story now decades later, she said Ray Barry, a longtime softball coach at Norwalk High, asked Fagan to try out for the team.

“I told him I wanted to work at the local supermarket,” she said. “I look back now and think, ‘What was I thinking?'” Softball got me to college. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I owe a lot to the softball game because of the great coaches I had. … The friends I made in softball are my lifelong friends. For Riley, it’s because of that experience playing ball. Soft, they make friends that will live for a lifetime.”

Last year, Donna trained her daughter for a state championship in the Milford Little League farms division.

Mike Bonanno, the current head coach of Milford Little League, said Fagan Davis is one of two 11-year-olds who were raised in the Little League to experience what it’s like to be in pressure situations and gain some experience for the All-Star Team next year. .

“Riley was a great teammate. She always cheers her teammates on and makes the best of her bats,” Bonanno said. It’s what we think and what we think we do better than anyone else.”

Riley usually gets one per game – a stress situation that takes time to get used to.

“The bat player is exhausting, but it’s always fun to cheer on his other teammates,” Riley said.

Fagan, purchasing manager at Avangrid in Orange, will be taking time off work next week, flying with his wife Shelley to encourage their daughter.

They will soon have memories of the World Championships to share for three decades.

“When you’re in the world championships, you don’t really stop and look around because you’re so nervous about playing,” Fagan said. “I want her to stop, take a look around and take it all in. It’s something you’ll never forget. Appreciate it while you’re there.”

“It’s going to be really interesting to see how far we’ve come and see how far we can go,” said Fagan Davies.

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; Tweet embed