Sortino to be inducted into NFCA Hall of Fame

November 23, 2004

Contact:

Longtime softball coach Elaine Sortino will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame during the group’s national convention set for Dec. 3-6 at the Las Vegas Hilton.

During her 25 years as head coach of the Minutewomen, Sortino has placed herself among the nation''s elite softball coaches with a career mark of 858-372-3. Her 858 career wins place her among the top 10 active Division I coaches.

Last season her team finished 34-17 and advanced to the NCAA regional tournament for the 14th time in her tenure. During her stint as head coach, UMass has won 16 Atlantic-10 Conference titles and made three trips to the NCAA Women''s College World Series.

Sortino has been named A-10 Coach of the Year seven times, the most of any coach in any sport in the conference. Her staff has been awarded Speedline/NFCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year four different seasons.

"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is probably the most overwhelming event that has occurred in my life," Sortino said. "It''s been a long time since I''ve known, and it''s still overwhelming. To see people I admire year after year being inducted, and now for me to be joining them, it''s just a tremendous honor that is very hard for me to comprehend."

In 2003, her team placed third out of eight teams in NCAA regional play in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The squad knocked off a trio of ranked opponents to open the season by winning the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

Her 2002 squad tied the eighth-longest win streak in NCAA history as the Minutewomen rolled off 33 consecutive wins to finish the campaign with a school-record 53-13 mark.

During her tenure, Sortino has produced 15 All-Americans, nine Atlantic 10 Player of the Year winners, 11 A-10 Pitcher of the Year selections and 74 all-conference players that include six Rookie of the Year award winners.

In her 25 years on campus, Sortino has won 30 games 18 times, claimed five 40-win seasons and a 50-win season while never finishing a season with a losing mark.

"I have always felt fortunate to be a coach. I''ve been afforded opportunities to learn from some of the best coaches, including some of my peers at Massachusetts," Sortino said. "I''ve been blessed to have a school that is committed to the softball program and take pride in it. I''ve been blessed to have great people around me."

Sortino also serves as associate athletic director for Sports Programs and Student Services. She also holds the title of senior woman administrator.

The New York native joined the Minutewomen after coaching two years at Yale. She also previously coached the UMass volleyball squad.

Sortino graduated from Oneonta State in New York in 1971, and she earned her graduate degree from University of Bridgeport two years later.