Two weeks before she begins her final season as a Blue Raider, MTSU shortstop Summer Burgess was named to Conference USA's Preseason Team, the league announced Thursday.
Additionally, the Blue Raiders were picked to finish sixth in the conference standings for the second consecutive season.
Burgess is no stranger to C-USA honors, as she was listed on the C-USA Freshman Team in 2017 and most recently was named to the All-Conference First Team last spring.
The Delray Beach, Florida, native is on pace to become MTSU's all-time career leader in hits, singles and at-bats. If she stays on track throughout the spring, she'll also finish in the program's top five in runs, walks, assists, games started and games played.
"Summer's the heartbeat of our team. She does a great job in all aspects, on and off the field, and we're expecting big things from her in her senior year," MTSU coach Jeff Breeden said. "She's started just about every game since she's been here, and she's already made a huge impact on this year's team and future teams."
Last season, C-USA's coaches correctly predicted that Middle Tennessee would finish sixth. However, in 2018, the Blue Raiders were picked to finish 11th before finishing the regular season sixth and winning the program's first C-USA Tournament.
"Our conference is going to be balanced from top to bottom this year. You just have to play the games one at a time, and I think it'll be anybody's game to win," Breeden added.
MTSU will start the 2020 slate with six games at the Cal State Fullerton Tournament Feb. 6-9.
2020 C-USA Preseason Poll (first-place votes)
1. North Texas (9)
2. WKU (2)
T3. Louisiana Tech (1)
7. Southern Miss
8. Florida Atlantic