AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts will name the softball field at the UMass Softball Complex in honor of longtime head coach Elaine Sortino, as announced by athletics director John McCutcheon. The formal ceremony to name the playing surface Sortino Field will take place on Saturday, Oct. 6, prior to the annual Alumni Game at 11 a.m., held as part of the program’s alumni weekend activities, which includes a banquet and golf tournament.
More than 70 former letterwinners, managers and coaches are expected to be in attendance, including members of the 1992 Women’s College World Series squad for the 20th anniversary of that season.
“It’s an honor and privilege for us to be able to recognize everything Elaine has meant, not only to the softball program but the University and Amherst community,” McCutcheon said. “This is a fitting way to recognize her many accomplishments and to provide our fans and supporters the opportunity to help us continue this tradition and fully Elaine’s vision for the facility.”
The field is being named in her honor to recognize her distinguished career and dedication to both the UMass program and the sport of softball.
Sortino, one of the top softball coaches in NCAA history, has been the driving force behind the more than $350,000 raised for the current facility. Future plans are to raise an additional $500,000 to continue enhancements to the complex and fulfill her dream to which she has dedicated her career.
Sortino is entering her 34th season at UMass, where she has compiled a 1,167-483-6 (.705) record, led the Minutewomen to 21 NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the WCWS. Sortino is the fourth-winningest active NCAA Division I coach and has never had a losing season at UMass, while winning 23 Atlantic 10 regular-season titles and 23 tournament championships.
A native of Yonkers, N.Y., Sortino posted a 218-134-1 record as UMass' volleyball coach from 1979-1986. A 1971 graduate of Oneonta State (N.Y.) University, she earned her master's degree from the University of Bridgeport in 1973. Sortino was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 2004.
Over the years, Sortino has coached a Honda Award winner, an Olympic Gold Medalist, 20 All-America selections, 15 A-10 Players of the Year, 18 A-10 Pitchers of the Year, nine A-10 Rookies of the Year and 129 all-conference selections.
Sortino also serves as Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. She directly supervises six men's and women's sport programs. She oversees student-athlete services, sports medicine, strength & conditioning, athletic health enhancement and the life skills program. Sortino served as tournament manager for the 1995 NCAA women's volleyball championship and was a key member of the NCAA Certification Committee in 1995-1996. She also served on the NCAA Softball Committee in 2003 and 2004 and has been an active voting member of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll.
The softball program moved from Totman Field to the southwest corner of campus prior to the 2000 slate and has posted a 211-24-1 (.896) mark at home since that season.
The complex was renovated to its current size with a seating capacity of 1,000 before the 2008 campaign. A new outfield wall was installed in 2011 and three outdoor batting cages were completed in April 2012. It also features six pitching mounds across two bullpens and heated dugouts with restrooms.
The facility has played host to five NCAA Regionals from 2006-10 and four A-10 Tournaments, with a fifth coming May 8-11, 2013.
**courtesy of UMass Athletics