Kyleigh Morgan looks to be next Beulah star at the college level

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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The Beulah Bobcats have become a factory for softball talent with several seniors signing to play collegiately each year. Rising senior Kyleigh Morgan is set to be another in a long line of dominant prospects. 

Morgan has been one of Beulah’s best softball players since she was an underclassman, and she has always had plans to play softball at the next level. She has secured that part of her future after committing to Central Alabama Community College in June. 

CACC offered a lot of things that Morgan needed when choosing a college destination. The school was close to her beloved hometown Beulah, and the campus provided a friendly atmosphere for her to flourish as a player. 

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“It was important to me to go to college that was close to home and wasn’t far away,” Morgan said. “CACC seemed like a good fit since it was only an hour away. I know they have a really great softball program. When I went on my visit, I immediately knew it was where I wanted to be because the campus was great and the coaches were really welcoming and nice.” 

Getting a scholarship and having the ability to play in college was important to Morgan because of her love for softball. Morgan picked up a softball as soon as she was strong enough to hold one. 

Ever since then, Morgan’s passion has been on the diamond. She has always dreamed of continuing that passion at a higher level. 

“I really wanted to play for as long as I can remember,” Morgan said. “It’s always been something I loved to do and my passion. It’s always been something I wanted to do after high school.” 

Morgan’s dream of being a college athlete is just one year away, but it was a long journey to get to this point. She has had to overcome many obstacles to get to this point. 

Last season was tough for Morgan at times. She battled injuries towards the end of the season and had to watch the area tournament from the dugout. Morgan still made herself a part of the team and tried to be a leader in any way she could. 

“It was tough not being able to play, especially in the area tournament,” Morgan said. “I loved being there and cheering on my team. I was glad to be back on the field for regionals.” 

Despite the adversity she faced during her senior season, Morgan still put up numbers. She finished with a .329 batting average, 25 RBIs and six stolen bases in 28 games. Morgan still believes the best is yet to come. 

This summer has been all about improvement for Morgan. She is working with former Auburn hitting coach Casey Myers during the offseason to improve her swing. Morgan is working on the physical side of her game, but she also believes that the mental side is where she can improve the most. 

Morgan is a dominant softball player, but she does not always believe that. She has had to work on her confidence over the years and calm her nerves. 

“I’m taking hitting lessons right now from [Casey Myers],” Morgan said. “I’ve been going to him and doing travel ball and trying to keep reps in. I’m trying to focus on my anxiety within softball. I’m trying to boost my confidence, be more mindful and stay calm under pressure so that I can perform my best.” 

Morgan will be one of Beulah’s leaders next season on the diamond. She wants to lead by example by showing up every day and competing in practice, but she also wants to lead the team vocally. 

Encouragement can come in many forms. Beulah’s coaching staff, the parents and the fans are a source of encouragement. Morgan hopes to be another direct source of encouragement on the field with the Bobcats. 

“This season, I plan to step up and lead by example and demonstrate work ethic on and off the field,” Morgan said. “I feel like it’s important to lift your teammates up. I plan to offer support by helping them to develop their skills and confidence as individuals but also as a whole team. I feel like the team is the most important part.” 

Morgan will be a leader on the diamond. She will also have to be a leader at the nets for the volleyball team. Softball is her main sport, but volleyball serves as an important junction between softball and the offseason. 

Beulah volleyball coach Allison Aikens makes playing volleyball worth it for Morgan. She understands the players and relates to them in a way that few can. 

“It always keeps me in shape and gives me something to do,” Morgan said. “The coaches, they just know how to talk to you. Our volleyball coach was our softball coach, and she has been with us for a long time. She knows how to talk to us under pressure and talk us through things.” 

Aikens is one coach who has influenced Morgan over the years, but there have been several others. Her biggest influence comes from home. 

Morgan’s biggest coach and supporter is her stepdad Cody Sims. Sims has been there every step of the way encouraging her and helping her develop in the sport she loves. 

“From rec ball to travel ball and even to school ball, all the coaches have played a really big part,” Morgan said. “On who has had the biggest impact on me would be my stepdad Cody Sims. For as long as I can remember, he’s pushed me to be the best version of myself. He’s taught me to never give up.” 

Every senior struggles to say goodbye to high school and their hometown. Morgan will go through all the lasts of a senior year, and she wants to make it worthwhile. 

Beulah’s softball team is full of bonds and Morgan wants to see those grow during her last year. She also wants to reach new heights in the postseason. 

“The ideal dream is to reach state, but I feel like we need to take it one game at a time,” Morgan said. “If we work together, I feel like we can reach the goals we’ve reached in the past.”

Morgan is itching to make an impact at the college level, but she is trying not to create unrealistic expectations. Her time at Beulah has been dominant, but college softball is a different game entirely. 

Morgan is excited to go to CACC to learn from the other players around her. She also wants to serve as an inspiration to other players at Beulah. 

“I’m just trying to go into it open-minded, and I’m trying to learn from all my new teammates and coaches as well while also showing the girls after me to never give up because it is possible to achieve your dreams and play at the next level,” Morgan said. 

Leaving home and playing collegiately can be a daunting experience, but Morgan will not be alone. Beulah’s rising senior Madyson Snedigar is also committed to playing at CACC next season. 

The two have grown close over the years, and they plan to share every part of their collegiate experience. 

“I went on a visit before Madyson. When I talked to her about it, we thought it would be really cool for us to both go since we’ve been really close and played softball together for a long time,” Morgan said. “Now, we’ve talked about being roommates. I really like that because even though it’s only an hour away, I really look forward to having someone that I’m close to being there with me and sharing that experience.”