Photo by David Chamberlain / MTSU Sidelines Archive
Story by Sammi Lovvorn / Contributing Writer
Given all of the accolades and accomplishments throughout her career, Precious Birdsong might go down as the greatest Blue Raider softball player in program history.
From the moment she stepped foot on campus, Birdsong made an immediate impact. She came into the Softball program during her freshman year in 2015 and was named to the All-Conference USA freshman team. Throughout her illustrious career, Birdsong racked up many awards, including All-Conference USA Team in 2016, All-Conference USA First Team in 2017 and 2017 NFCA Mideast All-Region First Team member.
Not only has Birdsong won countless awards in the C-USA, but she has made her mark on the university by breaking multiple school records. In her junior year, she broke the season batting average record, hitting at an astounding .443 clip. She has also broken the Middle Tennessee career marks for runs, triples and stolen bases.
Jeff Breeden is the head coach for the softball team and has known Birdsong for almost eight years.
“Birdsong is one of the fastest players that has ever been in this program,” Breeden said.
Birdsong has always had a strong passion for softball and plans to keep doing things with the game she loves after she graduates. She plans to have her own training facility one day to help young girls train and meet the needs for those who might not have the resources.
She is more than just your average softball player. Even with all the success she has had in her softball career, she has always found time to give back. Birdsong has a huge heart for community service, as well as keeping a strong faith.
“I love giving back to organizations, especially with little kids, because they are our future,” Birdsong said.
Before Birdsong goes up to bat, she will step up to the plate, step back and draw a cross in the dirt, which she said keeps her faith strong.
Not only is Birdsong reliant on her faith, she also finds refuge in her family. Birdsong grew up with all brothers and believes that without them, she wouldn’t be as strong as she is today.
Growing up, Birdsong had her fair share of struggles as she attempted to get into one of the schools she wanted to attend at a young age. Birdsong applied to Baylor School, a private prep school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when she was in the sixth grade and was accepted. However, she wasn’t able to attend due to her family not being able to pay the $20,000 tuition fee.
Birdsong was determined to attend and tried again the next year, falling short once more with no financial aid offered to her or her family. At this point, Birdsong was still not giving up and tried one last time for her eighth-grade year. After two years of applying for financial aid, Birdsong was finally accepted into the school and awarded the adequate amount of financial aid to allow her to attend school.
“That’s what made me have strong belief that anything is possible if you just believe,” Birdsong said.
Despite overcoming the adversity of trying to get into the school she desperately wanted, she still had obstacles to overcome by the time she became a softball star at MTSU.
Birdsong had to overcome shoulder surgery in the second week of the 2017 season. She had surgery on May 31, 2017, and has been bouncing back from that ever since.
Her ability to overcome obstacles and persevere through trying times has made her the ideal role model for her younger teammates.
One of her teammates, Jocelynn De La Cruz, is a freshman and says that Birdsong was one of the first teammates to text and ask if she needed any help.
“Even though this is my first season with her, I hope to continue to have a friendship with her after she is gone,” De La Cruz said.
Birdsong continues to set a positive example for those that look up to her. She said that she is not ready to graduate but wishes to continue to have a career in softball, as she wants to also be a coach in the future. The Chattanooga native, who is majoring in sports leisure and tourism studies, is set to graduate this May with a 3.38 GPA.
Birdsong does plan to come back for her masters after graduation but is focusing on finishing the season strong as the Blue Raiders head into the C-USA tournament.
“It’s been a hell of a four years,” Birdsong said. “It’s bittersweet that it’s coming to an end, but we are going out with a bang.”
To contact Sports Editor David Chamberlain, email firstname.lastname@example.org.