The streak lives on for the Waubonsie Valley softball team, thanks to Melaina Koulos and her flair for the dramatic.
The senior third baseman belted a three-run home run over the fence in right-center field Thursday to lift the Warriors to their 11th straight win, a 5-3 nonconference decision over Naperville North.
“I’ve had a walkoff hit before, sophomore year when we beat Bartlett for the conference title, but never a home run,” an excited Koulos said.
The drive erased a 3-2 deficit, scoring leadoff hitter Layne Thresh and Jordan Kurth, who had opened the inning for Waubonsie (18-5) against North sophomore Danielle Biesiada (3-2) with back-to-back singles.
“My assistant asked Mel if she wanted to bunt because we were in that situation,” Waubonsie Valley coach Valerie Wood said. “I just wanted to get those two over and she said to him, ‘No, I’m gonna hit the (bleep) out of the ball and she did, first pitch. Good-bye. Couldn’t have a better day. Good way to win.”
It was the fourth home run of the season for Koulos, who will continue her career next fall at Northern Illinois University as a preferred walk-on.
Koulos told herself before stepping into the box to react to what was coming.
“(Biesiada) was hitting first pitch strike on almost everybody except for me,” Koulos said. “My first three at bats she threw me in the dirt each time.
“I had seen Shannon (Hohman) and Amanda Lack get first-pitch hits two innings before. I wanted to hit it to the right side and I thought when I hit it, it was a gapper and I had to hustle.
“Then it went over and I was like, ‘Did that just happen?’ That went by really fast.”
It made a winner of Hohman (13-3), who pitched in and out of trouble the whole game against North (11-6). She scattered seven hits, striking out seven, walking seven and hitting one batter.
Hohman pitched out of jams the first two innings before the Huskies scored all three runs in the third, started by a double from Alexis Solak, who had three hits.
North stranded 12 runners, though.
“Dani pitched a great game,” Huskies’ coach Jerry Kedziora said Biesiada. “She got a ball up and the girl took advantage. She’s a good hitter.
“We had (Hohman) on the ropes but we let her off he hook. We dominated at the plate but made some mental error on the bases. You have to take advantage against good teams. We didn’t get the big hit, especially with runners in scoring position.”