Precious Star Birdsong has one of the most unique names in college softball — and perhaps anywhere else. But much like the Middle Tennessee senior's abilities in the outfield and at the plate, her extraordinary moniker now seems like a natural fit.
From the very beginning, her mom had intended for her daughter's name to be Precious Star. However, when her dad showed up at the hospital, he was totally against the idea and wanted their newborn to be named after him.
Finally, as a compromise, Birdsong’s aunt came to the rescue with the name Cor'Nisha, which ended up being Precious’s birth name. Even though Cor'Nisha is her given name, Precious is the name that stuck with her growing up.
Not only does Birdsong have a one-of-a-kind name, but she is also ready to make noise for the Blue Raiders as they open their 2018 season with a six-game West Coast tour this weekend, including two matchups against Rutgers and Utah State at the Titan Classic in Fullerton, CA, on Saturday.
Watch the 2018 Titan Classic LIVE on FloSoftball
Birdsong is coming off a record-setting season for Middle Tennessee at center field.
As a junior, she was named to the NFCA Mideast All-Region first team and C-USA All-Conference first team.
In 2017, Precious ended with a Middle Tennessee single-season record batting average of .443 and had the second-highest on-base percentage (.494) and third-most singles (57) in a single season in MTSU history.
Just when you thought the list stopped there, she also claimed the Middle Tennessee career record in triples (10) and stolen bases (101) and had a 16-game hitting streak (March 29 to April 29). Overall, Birdsong is a complete stud.
Hometown: Chattanooga, Tennessee
What made you want to go to Middle Tennessee?
Middle Tennessee has an incredible campus and just an overall great university. When I first toured the university, It wasn’t too far from home, which was really nice. I just absolutely fell in love with the campus and the coaching staff. Everything the university had to offer was amazing.
What are you majoring in?
When I first started college, I was a computer technology major. Middle Tennessee has an incredible curriculum for that major, which was another reason why the university stood out to me. I actually changed to sports studies and I’m in the accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program, so I’ll graduate in May with my bachelor’s degree and graduate next summer with my master’s degree.
What stood out to you about the softball program?
Their softball program hadn’t been the greatest before I was a freshman, but I’m a person who likes to be a part of a change. So that’s something that really caught my attention. I wanted to help turn the program around with my future teammates.
Going into your senior year, are you ready for your last season?
I am absolutely ready. It’s a little bittersweet being my last season, but I’m ready to go out with a bang.
How have the past three years been?
They’ve been pretty good. My first year we came in and won 22 games opposed to 10 games the year before. We’ve been heading in the right direction the past three years. We’re all on the same page and looking forward to this year being the best.
Favorite collegiate game so far?
I would say the series against Louisiana Tech last year. We won the series against them, but it was a complete battle. We were hitting home runs, then they would answer. It was just a game to watch and we ended up coming out on top.
If you could tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to mess up and lay it all out on the line for your team considering you’re just a freshman. I say that because, at the time, I didn’t quite understand myself as a player but now I understand every aspect of my game. I understand now what I have to do and what I need to do to help lead my team to a victory.
What is the team dynamic like this year?
Oh, it’s great. We have great team chemistry on and off the field. Our freshmen and sophomores are hilarious. You can just stand there and it’ll feel like you’re at a comedy show.
You're playing in the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament this Friday. Which games are you most looking forward to?
I’d have to say Cal Poly because we played them twice last year and they got us, but we can’t wait to have another go at it. UCLA is going to be really fun to play too.
I’m your typical superstitious softball player. I like to have a really good breakfast before I play. I will usually set my glove on the bench, and inside of my glove I place my batting glove. If I have a visor on that day, I’ll place that upside down on my glove. I know it sounds weird, but that’s just me.
One of the neat pregame rituals that we do as a team is that we will divide the team into two and play two-hand touch football before we start warming up.
Have you had any setbacks that kept you from playing?
Last season, believe it or not, I injured my throwing shoulder my second week of the season. When I injured it, I couldn’t even lift up my arm so I was really scared. I had no idea what was going to happen. I ended up having to sit out four games that weekend but was able to get back on to the field after a week or so.
Sometimes we’ll get sandwiches before the games and I’m all about those pickles. I’ll also usually pack a Fruit Roll-Up and some Gushers.
Go-to song to sing in the car?
"Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus.
What is your favorite show on Netflix?
"Gossip Girl" without a doubt.