DANVILLE — A three-run eighth inning for the Charleston Trojans spoiled the return of Corey Pullin to the Danville High softball program on Tuesday afternoon.
Pullin, who was the Vikings head coach from 2000-2004, saw his team drop a 6-3 contest in eight innings at Winterview Park in the season opener for Danville.
"We had the lead for a while,'' said Pullin, as Danville had a 1-0 lead in the first five innings. "I was still pleased with the way that we played, the ball just didn't bounce our way.''
Charleston (3-0) did all of its damage in two innings against Danville right-hander Alissa Peelman. The Trojans scored three times in the sixth and after the Vikings rallied to tie the game a 3-3 and send it into extra innings, Charleston responded with a three-run eighth inning.
"I thought Alissa threw the ball well in every inning,'' Pullin said. "You have to give (Charleston) credit for hitting the ball well. They hit it right down the right-field line and we weren't able to defense that.''
Peelman, who was basically making her varsity debut after missing most of the last two years with a knee injury, struck out 15 in eight innings, while allowing six runs on seven hits — all the runs and six of the hits came in her final three innings.
"It was quite an experience,'' Peelman said. "It was great to be able to do it and experience it. I just wish we could have gotten the win. I'm happy with the 15 strikeouts, but the seven hits and the loss are disappointing.
"They placed the ball right where they had to do and they were able to move the baserunners. There wasn't much we could do with that.''
Peelman admitted that its a little strange for the Danville High program to be going through its third head coach in the past three seasons. Pullin replaces Brittni Morehead, who was with the Vikings for one season after replacing Wendy Royer.