Photo by Tyler Lamb / MT Athletics Communications
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raider softball team had three players honored this afternoon, as juniors Precious Birdsong and Morgan Harris were each named to the Conference USA all-conference First Team and freshman Summer Burgess was named to the all-freshman team.
Although the team didn’t finish the season the way they wanted to, these three players contributed in different ways and gave the team a chance to win when they took the field.
Birdsong continued what’s been a very consistent career so far, posting a .443 batting average for the highest single-season average in Blue Raider history. This mark also ranked her third in Conference USA and in the top 15 in the country. Birdsong also led the team in on-base percentage, posting a .494 mark which is the second-highest average in school history.
When the Chattanooga native got on base, she also led the team in stolen bases for the third straight season with 23 swipes. She also played perfect defense in the field, making zero errors and posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Harris gave the Blue Raiders a constant threat in the third spot in the batting order, finishing third on the team with a .297 batting average and second on the team in runs batted in with 17. Behind the plate, Harris provided great leadership and management of the pitching staff, which helped contribute to a successful year from the starting rotation of Cori Jennings, Megan Chocallo and Gretchen Greer.
As a senior next season, she will try to continue this success to lead the team and leave her mark on a program she represented well this year.
Finally, Burgess was named to the all-freshman team after breaking out as the best freshman on the team. She batted lead-off for a majority of the year and finished second on the team in batting average with a .309 clip. She also led the team with seven doubles and 26 runs scored out of the no.1 spot.
She also showed great patience in the lead-off spot, leading the team with 19 walks. Her presence at the top spot allowed the team to put Birdsong in the two spot in the order, giving her a chance to use her speed more with someone on base.
These awards were voted on by the coaches of each C-USA team. The Blue Raiders will not be in the Conference USA Tournament and are already preparing for next season.