St. Charles East’s Hayden Sujack hits a home run straight out of Hollywood. ‘It was just like a movie scene.’

Personally, sophomore right fielder Hayden Sujack sets the bar high for St. Charles East.

When steps on the field, she has goals. She understands the pursuit of those is a big thing.

It also drives her, according to junior shortstop Addison Wolf.

“I think every time Hayden swings, we all know something good is going to happen,” Wolf said of Sujack. “There’s just a whole different vibe when Hayden is up to bat. I don’t worry about Hayden.

“We’re really close. I know she struggles mentally with this game, but I know that she’s going to be OK in the end.”

Sujack was more than OK and then some Friday afternoon.

She came up with several big hits, including the biggest in a 4-3 DuKane Conference victory over crosstown rival St. Charles North, which had entered the showdown game undefeated.

Sujack’s two-run homer on a rocket shot to center field came on a 3-1 pitch off Paige Murray in the sixth inning. It didn’t need the jet stream blowing out to right to break the 2-2 tie, providing the winning margin for pitcher Grace Hautzinger and the Saints (12-5, 2-2).

“When she got that first strike, I’m like, ‘OK, she’s gonna throw it again,’” Sujack said of Murray. “I’ve been working on just reacting, and I saw that ball clearly out of her hand.

“It was just like a movie scene. That’s how it felt.”

Cue the dramatic music.

The finish for St. Charles East had its anxious moments, however.

St. Charles North (8-1, 2-1) took an early lead on a two-run homer in the fourth inning from sophomore first baseman Abby Zawadzki and cut the deficit to the final margin on a pinch-hit home run to lead off the seventh by Anna Lamb.

The North Stars loaded the bases with two outs, but a diving catch by junior first baseman Holly Smith on a line drive by Zawadzki preserved the win.

“My travel coach always tells me to slow it down, and that’s what I told Grace,” Sujack said. “Pumping her up always gets her doing well, and Holly made an unbelievable play.”

Sujack, who started the day with a pair of doubles, added a two-run homer Saturday in a 10-0 win over West Chicago. That gives her five for the season.

Now hitting .345 with 15 RBIs after a freshman season that featured 14 homers and 43 RBIs, Sujack feels she’s getting back on track after what she termed a “rough patch.”

She thinks work with longtime hitting coach Sue Stricker and recent work with Marc Mantucca have her back to normal.

“I’ve been really struggling, had a lot of talks with my parents, coach (Jarod) Gutesha and coach P (assistant Max Payleitner),” Sujack said.

Gutesha couldn’t help but smile.

“Oh yeah, she can put a charge into the ball,” he said. “If you would ask her, the first 15 games haven’t gone as well as she would have liked.

“Something she has done a lot of is really focus, not necessarily on the mechanics of softball, but just what happens between the ears and she’s done some pretty nice things managing the stress of the game in big situations.”

Payleitner tried to lighten things up as Sujack rounded the bases against the North Stars.

“Hey, Hayden,” he said. “Welcome back.”

Hautzinger believes Sujack never left, however.

“She started off really, really hot this season,” Hautzinger said. “I don’t want to say she was in a slump because it wasn’t a slump. I think she was just in her head a little bit. I mean, we all are.

“She came out and just cleared her had and rips a bomb over the fence. I just watched it go.”