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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Softball participates in breast cancer awareness doubleheader

The+Beacons+before+their+doubleheader
The Beacons before their doubleheader

The University of Massachusetts Boston softball team squared off against both Stonehill and Simmons College in a doubleheader as they hosted the Fall Ball Invitational at home in October. In this tournament, games were played in the memory of the late UMass Amherst softball coach, Elaine Sortino, whose biggest competition was off the field, fighting a long battle with breast cancer.
Pink jerseys were worn by the Beacons to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but specifically to remember an extended family member whose passing hit close to home.
“It was important for us as a program and as part of the UMass family to recognize such a great coach,” said head coach Natalia Ardagna.
Coach Sortino had been part of the UMass Amherst softball program for 33 years and recorded over 1,100 wins, which was good enough for third among all active Division 1 head coaches. She had quite an impact on softball, even among those who didn’t have a chance to know her on a personal level.
“I did not know Coach Sortino personally. She has been so instrumental in the growth and development of the sport. Specifically having such success on the East Coast. Previously, most of the teams making it to the Super-Regionals and the World Series had come from the West Coast. She made UMass Amherst relevant on a national level,” added Ardagna.
Sports have always been a key tool for charities to spread awareness for their causes. They seem to coincide as both ultimate goals are to bring out positive results.
“I do feel as though there is a bond between sports and charity. We had a great opportunity to be able to raise awareness for breast cancer and other causes, as well as give back to communities,” said Ardagna.
“It’s always a great feeling to be able to contribute and raise awareness through softball. It adds a certain element of passion to the cause,” she added.
The Beacons wrapped up the fall schedule strongly, and now await the regular season in the spring. Coach Ardagna has high hopes for this upcoming season, and she is especially pleased with the team’s play this past fall.
“I think the team played really well. They were a little nervous during the first game but it was great to see the hard work we put in through these past few weeks come to fruition in the second game.”
But as far as softball goes, things won’t get any easier schedule-wise as they head to Florida in March to start the regular season in the spring.
“We have a lot of work to do for the spring. With new people in different positions, there are always a significant amount of adjustments that need to be made,” Ardagna added on.