EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Michigan State pitching ace Jessica Beech has been hired as the newest member of the Spartan softball coaching staff, as announced by head coach Jacquie Joseph on Wednesday. She will assume duties as the pitching coach, beginning July 6. Beech, a four-year letterwinner and two-time NFCA All-American, was a member of the Spartan squad that captured the school's only Big Ten Tournament title in 2004.
"I am thrilled to have added not only a tremendous pitching coach, but also a great person and a former Spartan to our staff," Joseph said. "Jessica knows our system, and is fully committed to the mission and goals of our team."
"I couldn't be more excited to be joining Jacquie (Joseph) and Kathryn (Gleason) on the MSU Softball staff," Beech commented. "Having played for Coach Joseph I am very familiar with her philosophies and her approach to the game. I've learned so much through her coaching style and am looking forward to making the full transition from being one of her players to coaching on the other side of the chalk with her. I am also honored to work for an institution with the respect and esteem that Michigan State holds. I couldn't be happier to be able to continue my stay in East Lansing as a Spartan."
During her celebrated career Beech tossed four no-hitters, and joined forces with former pitcher Becky Gray for the first combined perfect game in MSU history. She owns the highest number of career wins at MSU (72), while she also ranks atop the Spartan career record book with 24 shutouts and 659 strikeouts.
Beech earned the first of two All-America awards following her junior year, during which she posted a 27-11 record with a 1.25 ERA. She tossed 30 complete games with 13 shutouts for State in 2003, while also contributing a .254 (43-for-169) effort at the plate that same season. As a senior, Beech was the All-America second-team utility selection, as she not only posted 29 wins as a pitcher but led the Big Ten in batting in conference games with a .406 average at the plate.