The longtime softball coach at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has died. Elaine Sortino died Sunday after an almost two-year battle with cancer. She was 64. During her 34-year tenure at UMass, Sortino led the women’s softball team to 23 conference titles as well as three trips to the Women’s College World Series. Athletic director John McCutcheon says Sortino’s death is a tremendous loss for the University and the nation’s softball community.
“We are sorely going to miss her,” McCutcheon says. “We all loved her deeply and respected her. And the number of people that she touched, both players and administrators, and (the) local community and national softball community. It’s unbelievable the number of lives that she’s impacted in a positive way and helped. And there will be no replacing her, that’s for sure..”
A member of the National Fast Pitch Hall of Fame, Sortino ranks 7th in all time wins among Division One coaches. She coached 28 All-Americans, a legacy that McCutcheon says the school is committed to building upon.
“Elaine put this program together and she wanted (it) to continue to grow and become even more competitive on the national level. And we are going to do everything in our power to fulfill her dream,” McCutcheon says.
The recently constructed UMass softball complex was named in Sortino’s honor last year. McCutcheon says funeral and memorial plans are pending.