Amid the raucous cheers from her Carson teammates and fans after a booming RBI triple in the sixth inning, Vanessa Corral heard Coach Cam Werner's voice loud and clear greeting her at third base.
"Good thing you missed that bunt sign," Werner told her.
Oh well, no harm, no foul, at least not with the way Corral is swinging the bat.
Corral's tiebreaking RBI triple in the sixth inning scored Cyrstal Maas and sparked Carson to a 4-1 nonleague victory over visiting Palos Verdes on Thursday.
Corral went 3-for-3 with a double and a triple, following up her game-tying RBI single the previous day against Redondo.
Yet when Maas reached base on an error by shortstop Sammi Gyerman, Werner flashed a bunt sign to Corral.
Two pitches later, Corral blasted a shot over the head of left fielder Alicia Wong that sparked a three-run outburst.
"I went up there pretty confident," Corral said. "I was hoping not to get a bunt sign. The first pitch, I didn't get a sign. Then she flashed a bunt sign and I just missed it. That usually doesn't happen to me"
Carson (9-3) boosted its record to 4-0 against Bay League teams this season, recording wins over Peninsula, West Torrance, Redondo and now Palos Verdes.
It is an encouraging start for a team that has no seniors and starts four freshmen.
. "I'm seeing a lot of good things from them," Werner said. "I'm pleased with our youngsters, with the entire team really. They work hard and are eager to learn."
Maas (5-2) came in relief and struck out five in three scoreless innings to earn the win after Brittany Rowland allowed one run with five hits in four solid innings.
Carson's big bats struggled early against Palos Verdes offspeed pitcher Alex Whittemore, who was making her first start this season in place of ace Arianna Erceg.
Freshman Darian Tautalafua broke the ice, smashing a shot over Wong in left field for a solo homer in the third inning..
Tautalafua comes from a home run family. She is a cousin of former Carson great Adrienne Alo, former San Pedro slugger Perelini Koria and former Carson standout Destine Lauvai.
In fact, Tautalafua talked with Koria last week and received some advice from the University of Arizona star.
"She told me to stay relaxed at the plate and to have some fun," said Tautalafua, who followed Jessica Ramirez's RBI double in the sixth with an RBI single.
Palos Verdes (4-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Alicia Wong, who had two of her team's eight hits. But the Sea Kings failed to advance runners once they got on base.
"We just weren't in sync today," Wong said. "Our execution wasn't there, and our defense was tight. The hits were there, but we didn't bring it all together."
Palos Verdes played without two starters - Briana Mikovich has an upper-leg injury and is out indefinitely and Haley Schenasi was cleated in her last game.
"Those are two big bats out of our lineup," Palos Verdes coach Emily Senko said. "Our hitting was sporadic today. We need to execute better."
Schenasi is expected back for today's nonleague game against Bay League rival Redondo in a game designed as a breast cancer fund-raiser. The players will wear pink jerseys, and the Sea Kings will have several items for sale to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.