After an outstanding prep and collegiate pitching career, Alex Lagesse is teaching her trade.
The former Beecher and Valparaiso University standout is Valparaiso University's pitching coach.
"It feels good to be back at Valparaiso," Lagesse said. "I'm looking forward to coach and work with a great group of people."
Lagesse 's legacy includes being The Times two-time Illinois softball player of the year in 2007 and 2008. As a junior, she led Beecher to the 2007 Class A state championship. She did not allow an earned run in postseason.
A 2008 Beecher and 2012 Valparaiso grad, Lagesse was 55-39 with 447 career strikeouts in her four-year Valparaiso career. She was a two-time Horizon League all-tournament team and was names six times as league pitcher of the week. She set the program's single-season for wins (22) in 2012. She helped the Crusaders to their first NCAA tournament berth.
They were one out away from upsetting Louisville in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
"Making the NCAA tournament in 2012 was an amazing experience," Lagesse said. "We competed with some of the best programs in the country and I believe our program really benefited from that experience."
Lagesse grew up around the game as her dad, Gary, built Thornwood into an Illinois softball powerhouse, winning three state titles. While she has plenty of trophies at her parents' home, she said she doesn't think a lot about what she accomplished.
"It is nice to look back on those memories," Lagesse said. "Through those experiences I made life-long friends but now I am focused on school and coaching."
Lagesse is working on her master's in sports administration.
"As of right now, I am undecided on a career path," Lagesse said. "Hopefully going back to school and coaching will help guide me in the right direction."
Upon graduation, she spent the summer playing pro softball in Europe and was also a volunteer pitching coach at St. Joseph's College in 2013.
"I am very fortunate for all the opportunities throughout my playing career," Lagesse said. "Being back at Valparaiso is great. I'm excited to work with Coach (Jordan) Stevens and Coach (Joylyn) Ichiyama. My goal is to continue to learn and grow not only as a coach but as a person."
The Crusaders are getting ready for some long trips, including stops in Arizona, North Carolina and Hawaii.
"Over Spring Break we are doing a lot of traveling and playing some of the top programs in the country," Lagesse said. "We are looking forward to the opportunity."