Sunshine on her shoulders makes St. Charles East’s Katelyn Morgan happy. So does winning. ‘Lit a fire under us.’

Katelyn Morgan has been St. Charles East’s sunshine girl since last October.

That’s when the senior third baseman committed to play at a junior college in the Florida panhandle, fulfilling a longtime dream with help from Jim Abbott, her travel coach.

“He knew I didn’t want to play anywhere in the Midwest and I wasn’t going to settle,” Morgan said. “Since he knows a lot of people, doors opened for me at Pensacola State College.

“I’m so happy I get to live that out. The weather is definitely one reason, and ever since I was little, I’ve just loved Florida. There was no way I was going to say no to it.”

Morgan and the Saints had even more reason to be happy Wednesday afternoon, completing a DuKane Conference sweep of crosstown rival St. Charles North with a 5-1 victory.

The Saints (16-11, 6-5) snapped a six-game losing streak Monday behind a two-hitter from senior pitcher Grace Hautzinger for a 3-0 win over Lake Park.

The senior right-hander followed that up with a three-hitter, eight strikeouts and no walks against St. Charles North (16-4, 8-3). Hautzinger (12-5) will also play college ball in Florida at Rollins.

She won a 4-2 decision in the teams’ meeting last month and is 4-1 in her career against the North Stars, who received their lone run on a homer by junior center fielder Mackenzie Patterson.

“It’s something about North and the rivalry,” Hautzinger said. “I mark the game on my calendar. I know it’s coming. I think we just bring our ‘A’ game every time.”

Morgan said she knew the Saints were in good shape because of Hautzinger’s look.

“You can just see it in her eyes,” said Morgan, who’s in her third varsity season. “No matter how good or bad we’re doing in the past, the present comes and we just turn on that switch.

“We’re ready to compete with (St. Charles North). They’re a good team, but I know we are, too. I think the six-game losing streak really lit a fire under us.”

Sophomore right fielder Hayden Sujack started the scoring in the fourth inning with a solo home run, her ninth of the season and the second off St Charles North’s Paige Murray (10-4).

Morgan’s daring baserunning provided an insurance run in the fifth inning before junior second baseman Alyse Price belted a two run homer to highlight a three-run seventh.

All five of the Saints’ runs were scored with two outs.

Morgan has flirted with a .400 batting average all season but still flies under the radar, according to St. Charles East coach Jarod Gutesha.

She doubled and was on third base with one out in the fifth when junior first baseman Holly Smith popped up just past the infield dirt behind second base.

It became a sacrifice fly when Morgan scored on a mad dash after a St. Charles North player caught the ball running away from the infield and had to turn and throw back home.

“I knew one run wasn’t going to be enough against a team like this,” Morgan said. “I heard (Gutesha) say, ‘Don’t go.’ But I was already going.”

She beat the throw.

“They were only 10 steps behind the bag to make the catch,” Gutesha said. “I’m glad that’s her mentality. You decide to go, you have to go. You can’t be out there in no man’s land.”

St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said the better team won on this day.

“Grace was on top of her game,” he said. “They made the plays you should make at this point in the season and had quality at-bats against Paige, even when she was really strong early.

“I still love our team. This happens to us every once in a while, and we always tend to be there in the end.”

Gutesha thinks his Saints have turned a corner.

“We’re a different team than our record shows,” he said. “I think the kids have kind of figured out what it takes for them to be ready and be competitive.”