Coach Sortino led her team to twenty-three conference titles, as well as three Women's College World Series appearances in her thirty-four years at the helm of the Minutewomen program. She is a member of the National Fastpitch & Oneonta State halls of fame, and her legacy was cemented in 2012 when the UMass softball complex was renamed Elaine Sortino Field.
This article by Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette really puts into perspective the ginormous impact that Coach Sortino had on the game of softball. Following the news of her passing, the memorials and messages of sadness poured in across the Twitter world. Just a small sampling of them are below.
Rest in peace, Coach Sortino. Your impact on the game we all love will not be forgotten, and your legacy will live on through the innumerable lives you impacted and inspired.
Lost a good person from my Umass days over the weekend. Elaine Sortino lost her battle w/cancer..
— Bruiser Flint (@ducoachflint) August 19, 2013
My heart is aching for UMASS Softball and our softball family in general. RIP Elaine Sortino. Such a hard fought battle until the very end.
— Jen Steele ⚓ (@LUCoachSteele) August 19, 2013
The world lost a GREAT Woman today! Elaine Sortino has gone to a better place! Thank You Elaine! You will be missed! #UMASSFamily #Prayers
— Michael Bastian (@CoachBastian) August 19, 2013
Thoughts and prayers to the UMass Softball family. Elaine Sortino was one of a kind.
— Pat Conlan (@HoyasCoachPat) August 19, 2013
"She was one of the best of us".... how a dear friend of mine described Elaine Sortino. So very, very true!
— Cindy Bristow (@cindybristow) August 19, 2013
Elaine Sortino, legendary coach at UMass, died today. It's a sad day and a huge loss in the softball world. Elaine was a great leader.
— Jo Evans (@Coach_Jo_Evans) August 19, 2013
RIP Elaine Sortino, Legendary Head Softball Coach at UMASS. You will never be forgotten. #UMassSB #NFCA
— UConn Softball (@UConnSoftball) August 19, 2013
Prayers and condolences to family and friends of our UMass head softball coach, Elaine Sortino, a great woman who will be greatly missed.
— Mike Wegzyn (@mikewegzyn) August 19, 2013