AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - The UMass Amherst community is grieving the loss of their legendary softball coach, Elaine Sortino. After fighting for nearly two years, Sortino lost her battle with cancer on Sunday at the age of 64.
Even though Sortino was from Yonkers, New York--UMass was really her home. For 34 years of her life, she coached hundreds of women both on and off the field. Her record is a testament to the kind of person she was, and the impact she had on the school and its students.
At the end of the 2012-2013 season, Sortino ranked 7th all-time among active Division 1 coaches. She led the Minutewomen to 23 Atlantic 10 titles, three Women's College World Series, and was even named A-10 Coach of the Year eleven times.
Sortino never let cancer stop her from being on the field with her girls. She coached her team as long as she could during her cancer treatments, and continued going to the games.
The Atlantic 10 conference issued this statement after learning about Sortino's death: "The Atlantic 10 family is greatly saddened...[Sortino] influenced many student-athletes, coaches, and administrators....She will be deeply missed, but her impact on the A-10, softball and college athletics will be felt for years to come."
Sortino's name and legacy will continue on at UMass Amherst. Last year, the school named their softball field after the coach. She spent years trying to raise money for the construction of the new softball complex.