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Kansas catcher Lyric Moore driven by ‘killer instincts’

Fueled by passion and an unyielding competitive drive, the KU senior is in the middle of her journey to becoming the ultimate competitor

3 min read
Kansas catcher Lyric Moore has some big goals, both individually and for her team, for her senior season with the Jayhawks. [Kansas Athletics photo] 

Lyric Moore wants to be the most hated player in the Big 12.

When she steps on the field, she plans to dominate the opposing team.


Send into oblivion.

There are no friends on the field, after all.

“When I step into the batter’s box, I’m looking at the pitcher thinking, ‘I hope your parents are here, because I absolutely want to crush your dreams in front of them,’” says Moore, a senior for the Kansas softball team. “When you step out onto the field, you don’t want to help your opponent; you want to obliterate them.”

Moore isn’t one to shy away from a fight on the field.

If she finds herself down in the count, she dares you to give her a pitch she can hit.

If you take a chance at stealing, she’ll rifle a ball to second base to pick you off. (She threw out nine runners as a junior, the best in the Big 12.)

“She’s a leader, a great teammate and an impact player for our program,” said Kansas softball coach Jennifer McFalls. “She works so hard to improve her game every day.”

What may sound like arrogance is Moore’s drive to be the ultimate competitor.

That drive — or those “killer instincts,” as she calls them — comes from her parents.

KU catcher Lyric Moore smiles after reaching base against Oklahoma last season. [Kansas Athletics photo] 

Growing up in Oakland, California, Moore said her parents fought for everything her family had. Her father woke up at 4 a.m. every morning for work. In the evenings, he coached Moore’s rec teams and later traveled to her club softball tournaments. Moore said she never wanted for anything, despite her parents struggling at times to make ends meet.

“At the end of the day, I always had food on my plate, the lights were always on. There’s been times I don’t know how they did it,” Moore said. “All my credit goes to them and the least I can do is work hard for them.”

Her hard work has paid off as she’s one of the most well-rounded catchers in the vaunted Big 12 Conference.

She holds a career .308 batting average with the Jayhawks, including 101 hits, 58 runs scored and 53 RBIs.

Her biggest improvement came between her freshman and sophomore years, the latter of which she said was her best season to date.

Moore said she came in as a freshman with “uber confidence” and was quickly humbled. Rather than blaming others for her lack of playing time and success, she went into the summer and buckled down mentally and really focused on her training.

“It’s really thanks to my coaches, because they were always honest and transparent with me,” Moore said. “Also, my mindset. What makes Division I athletes different from others, I feel, has nothing to do with physicality but with your mental approach.”

With one season left, Moore has two goals to reach that she set as a freshman — be named an All-American and lead the Jayhawks to a national championship.

To help her prepare to do so, she studies the athletes who reached the pinnacle of their sports, none more so than Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

“The reason I look up to him so much,” said Moore, the KU catcher who wants to be public enemy No. 1 in the Big 12, “is because of his demeanor on the court. You can’t say something to him or joke around with him on the court and not expect him to embarrass you.”

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