NFCA Hall of Famer and University of Massachusetts Head Softball Coach Elaine Sortino passed away Sunday after a two-year battle with cancer.
“Elaine was an incredible coach, person and friend to so many in the softball world,” said Lacy Lee Baker, NFCA Executive Director. “Although her loss is devastating, the legacy she left will endure.”
Sortino was head coach of the UMass Minutewomen for 34 seasons, guiding the program to 1,185 wins, 23 conference titles and three trips to the Women’s College World Series. Her 1,185 wins placed her seventh all-time among active Division I coaches. Last fall, the UMass softball complex was renamed Elaine Sortino Field in her honor.
During her last two seasons, Sortino was weakened by cancer, but that didn’t deter her love for softball and desire to coach. In 2012, doctor’s orders banned her from flying to the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament in St. Louis and the following regional in Columbia, Mo. With the help of a friend, Sortino hitched a ride to both locations to be in the dugout and coach her team.
The NFCA extends its most heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Sortino family, the UMass softball community and all the lives that Elaine Sortino touched in her time.