Elaine Sortino Inducted Into UMass Athletic Hall Of Fame
Elaine Sortino Inducted Into UMass Athletic Hall Of Fame
Elaine Sortino won 1,185 games as the head softball coach at UMass.


Elaine Sortino won 1,185 games as the head softball coach at UMass.

Oct. 15, 2013

AMHERST, Mass. - Former Massachusetts head softball coach and administrator Elaine Sortino was inducted into the George "Trigger" Burke UMass Hall of Fame, as announced by Director of Athletics John McCutcheon and the hall's namesake, George Burke at Sunday's Celebration of Life for Elaine.

Following Sortino's passing in August, the Hall of Fame committee met and unanimously approved her inclusion into the Hall.

One of the all-time great coaches in collegiate softball, Sortino coached 34 seasons at UMass, where she compiled a 1,185-508-6 (.705) record, led the Minutewomen to 21 NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the WCWS. Sortino, who was the third-winningest active NCAA Division I coach at the conclusion of the 2013 campaign, led the Minutewomen to 23 Atlantic 10 regular-season titles and 23 tournament championships. Her 1,185 wins placed her eighth in NCAA history and seventh all-time among Division I ranks.

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 coached a Honda Award winner, an Olympic Gold Medalist, three USA and Canadian National Team members, 21 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 133 all-conference selections.

One of the most gifted pitching mentors in the game, former pupils Danielle Henderson (1996-99), Brandice Balschmiter (2006-09) and Sara Plourde (2009-12) all ended their careers among the top 15 all-time in various NCAA Division I categories, including games started, complete games, innings pitched, victories, strikeouts and shutouts.

Dozens of her former players have gone on to coaching careers, with five former assistants and players currently holding NCAA head coaching positions.

The softball program moved from Totman Field to the southwest corner of campus prior to the 2000 season and has posted a 220-30-1 (.896) mark at home since that year.

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 was renamed Sortino Field in September 2012 and has played host to five NCAA Regionals from 2006-10 and five A-10 Tournaments.

Sortino, one of the top softball coaches in NCAA history, was the driving force behind the more than $350,000 raised for the current facility.

Sortino also served as Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator with direct oversight of several sports. She oversaw 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 was on the NCAA Softball Committee in 2003 and 2004 and an active voting member of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll.