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Taylor McSherry’s two-run home run capped Rapid City Stevens’ furious fourth-inning rally as the Raiders came back to beat Rapid City Central 6-4 in girls softball action Monday at the Parkview Softball Complex.

The five-run fourth capped a seesaw contest that saw Stevens jump out front in the top of the first, only to have the Cobblers push ahead 3-1 after three innings after scoring a run in the second stanza and two in the third.

The five-run fourth proved the be the difference-maker in the first meeting between the two schools this season.

“We’ve been working really hard in practice, talking a lot about hitting line drives and the importance of putting the ball in play,” Stevens coach Sherry Grismer said. “We had a great practice (Monday) night, where the kids were just crushing the ball. We challenged them to bring it tonight, and they did.”

The loss, Central’s first in six games this season, didn’t sit well with both players and coaches. The team met afterward for a long stretch to talk about what went wrong and how to come back from a loss to a rival like Stevens.

“We all got together (Monday) and circled around and we went around a circle and talked about what to expect and what we want to do and how we want to perform,” Central coach LexyJo Deneke lamented after the game. “And we did the complete opposite.”

The Raiders had a hard time getting to Cobbler starter Katie Paris through the first three innings. That changed drastically in the fourth.

A Jaz Smith double scored Sophie Schoeberl and Reilly Tschetter before Darcy Geersen singled to score Smith and push Stevens ahead 4-3. McSherry upped the Raiders' lead to 6-3 with a two-run homer over the right field wall.

The Cobblers nicked Stevens freshman Sophie Dressler for two runs over the first three innings. Aside from Paris’s home run in the second inning, the Cobblers had a hard time making hard contact against Dressler, who did a nice job mixing up her pitches throughout the game.

“I was trying to throw them off with my off-speed pitch and throwing my curve and screwball then busting them inside with my fastball,” said Dressler, who scattered five hits over the first four innings.

“We put the ball in her hands knowing that her changeup was working well. We knew that she throws the ball really hard. We knew that she could keep them off balance,” Grismer said. “She did just that throughout the whole game. She really stepped up.”

Central rallied for a run in the bottom of the fifth inning and had two runners on base with only one out, but Dressler struck out Hanna Semmler and coaxed a pop-up from Laina Culberson to end the game.

Alyssa Burke and Paris both finished the night with two hits. Paris drove in two runs.

“We did not deserve to win that game; Stevens did 100 percent,” said Deneke, whose team fell to 5-1 this season. “But we’ll learn from our mistakes and we’re going to come back ready to play next time.”

Stevens got hits from seven players, with Jill Delzer notching the only two-hit game for the Raiders (4-2). McSherry and Geerson both had two RBIs to pace Stevens.

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