DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Marissa Young made another addition to the Duke Blue Devils’ 13th-ranked 2018 signing class on Monday, as she announced the signing of California outfielder Kyla Morris.
A native of Claremont, Calif., Morris will head to Durham after she wraps up her senior season with the Claremont High School Wolfpack playing under head coach Tawnee Adams.
“Duke University initially peaked my interest because of its ability to provide a well-rounded college experience, most importantly academically, but also athletically with its long history of school traditions,” Morris said. “I would like to help create some of its first traditions as part of Duke’s new softball program. With the prestige that Duke possesses, it will allow me to play the sport I love so much at the highest competitive level while acquiring an education that is second to none.”
Along with her high school experience, Morris has also competed on the travel ball level for four years, most recently playing with the 18U California Cruisers – Sievers squad. The outfielder helped her squad finish third in the 2017 18U PGF Tournament.
When not playing, Morris is taking time to teach others the game she loves as an instructor for the weekly softball skills camp On The Dirt.
Morris’ talent is not just limited to the softball field, as she lettered with the cross country and track and field programs her first three years in high school. Morris competed in the 200m, 400m, 4x400m and long jump in her three years. She was a member of a two-time CIF Finalists 4x400m squad (2016-17) and also a 2017 400m CIF Finalist. On the cross country side, Morris finished seventh at the state meet in 2015. Morris is also an All-Academic honoree with both programs.
Television and film production is a major passion for Morris when not on the field. The future Blue Devil has been a member of Wolfcast, Claremont’s broadcast journalism program, since sophomore year. She was the program’s MVP as a junior and holds the role of Feature Producer in her final year. She has also received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Media Arts, as well as Science and Citizenship.
Morris was also honored with the Rotary Youth Leadership Award her junior year. She is the publicity officer for Interact, a community service club at Claremont that she has been a member of since freshman year. She has also been a member of the Christian youth group Activate since last year.
The daughter of Steve and Kimberly Kittson Morris, Kyla was born in Bellflower, Calif., Jan. 1, 2001. She has two sisters, Elyse and Maya. Her father played collegiate baseball at Hawaii from 1985-88 and was a member of Minnesota Twins organization from 1988-91. Her sister Elyse currently plays softball at St. John’s.
Favorite Softball Memory?
“Playing in PGF last summer was definitely my favorite softball memory. I had recently moved onto the California Cruisers, so I was still acclimating to the team. However, I felt so welcomed from all the girls and their energy was so awesome. I truly enjoyed myself and had so much fun competing for the national championship.”
How Did You Get Started Playing Softball?
“As a kid my parents put me and my sister in quite a few different sports (gymnastics, soccer, tennis, dance, & golf), but with a strong influence from my dad’s baseball background, softball came naturally. Although my dad did not discourage us from other sports, he was able to teach us with a more in depth knowledge of the game than the other sports we played. Also softball was the sport that I found the most engaging and fun.”
Who Has Made The Biggest Impact On Your Life?
“My parents have definitely had the biggest impact on my life. They are not only involved in my athletic life, but also my academic and social life. My mom and dad see situations first hand, and are able to give me insight and advice as to handling it the best, with knowledge of other events taking place.”
Goals Upon Graduation?
“After graduating from Duke, my dream would be to pursue a career in television or film production. I would love to work one day on an ESPN, FOX, or NBC set, televising athletic events. Also after graduation I want to continue traveling around the world to see new places and experience new cultures.”
“Hobbies of mine include film editing, traveling, solving puzzles, and cooking/baking.”
If You Could Play Any Other Sport In College You Would Pick?
Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”
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