Precious Birdsong is yet another returning player from Baylor's 40-5 TSSAA Division II-AA state-championship softball team to accept a scholarship offer recently. The junior utility player has committed to play at Middle Tennessee State University.
Birdsong's visit included reuniting with former Baylor standout outfielder Nina Davenport, now a senior with the Blue Raiders. Birdsong said she liked everything about the campus from the softball facilities to the dorm rooms and is looking forward to playing for first-year coach Jeff Breeden and hitting coach Kelley Montalvo.
"I went a few weeks back," Birdsong said of her visit. "When I went, it felt like it was where I wanted to be and where I wanted to spend my future years in college."
Birdsong mostly played second base last season for Baylor and also played some at shortstop and in the outfield. She's hoping for an opportunity to play outfield at MTSU but is willing to do anything to get on the field.
"Outfield is her natural position with her speed and her range," Baylor coach Kelli Smith said. "She has an incredible arm. We were wasting her arm at second base."
It could be argued that Birdsong was the best No. 9 batter in all of Tennessee high school softball last season. She helped strengthen the potent Lady Red Raiders' lineup by batting .438, and she drew 21 walks. She had four triples among her 39 hits, scored 39 runs and was 9-for-9 in stolen bases.
"She is such a threat with her speed from the left side," Smith said. "She's been able to hit with some power and she'll continue to develop that. She's got the potential to hit home runs and hit it to the fence and not just hit it in the gaps.
"We've talked about her before as a coaching staff. We knew somebody was going to be getting a gift."
Birdsong said she plans to major in computer engineering technology.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.