—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Winterset players celebrate after their victory over Sergeant Bluff-Luton on Tuesday at Rogers Park. For more photos, please visit

Winterset junior Ally Pickering summed up the last 24 hours of her life by simply calling it “crazy.”

Pickering’s younger sister and starting right-fielder, Corry, was involved in a car accident on her way to a send-off for the second-ranked Huskies Monday. She had 12 staples inserted into the back of her head, has a broken clavicle and two broken ribs, but was released on Tuesday.

That very same day, Ally Pickering made sure to leave her mark on the state tournament, blasting a first inning home run as Winterset bested Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 5-2, on Diamond 1. The second-ranked Huskies (33-7 overall) face No. 5 Oskaloosa Thursday morning in the semifinals at Rogers Park.

“It was very scary,” said Pickering, who has already committed to DMACC. “I really wanted to see her as soon as I could. I was actually calling her when the accident happened because I didn’t know where she was. Someone said there was a car accident on the southside of town and I knew it was her.

“I was the one who had to tell my parents and I didn’t really know how to. I just really wanted to do the best I could for her because she was supposed to be with me in right-field and we were going to make memories. But we can do that next year.”

Corry Pickering, who just completed her sophomore year at Winterset, might have the chance to see her sister and teammates in action now thanks to their big four-run first inning.

“We are thinking she might come up Thursday depending on how she feels,” Ally Pickering said. “We are all hoping she does. She was snapchatting us from her hospital bed telling us to get her a ‘W.'”

Macy Johnson, a senior who has signed with Drake University, added an RBI single in the third for Winterset, which is making its ninth trip to state in 15 years. They have reached the final four six times now, including a state title in 2008 and a runner-up finish two years ago.

The win was the 540th in the career of Steve Corkrean, who has directed all nine of those state appearances by the Huskies. Overall, he is now 540-178 in 17 years on the diamond.

“We are all thinking of Corry and wanted to do this for her,” Corkrean said. “We have a job to do and we had girls step up. She is with us this week.”

Grace McDonald and Jessie Nicholson each had two hits and an RBI for Winterset in the win. Sophie Stover allowed just six hits and struck out five over seven innings of work inside the circle.

The Warriors (28-11) will head to the consolation round where they meet eighth-ranked Mount Pleasant on Wednesday at noon on Diamond 1. Sergeant Bluff-Luton, competing at state for the first time since 2013 and seventh overall appearance, holds wins over state regulars Newell-Fonda and LeMars this year.

Kami Schlag and Kinzey Foley each drove in runs for the Warriors in the sixth and seventh innings.



Winterset 401 000 0 — 5 9 0

SB-Luton 000 001 1 — 2 6 1

Sophie Stover (W, 27-5, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 2 BB) and Emma Lowden; Bradee Bowman (L, 16-5, 4 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 K, 7 BB), Terri Deitloff (3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 K, 1 BB) and Madelyn Mogensen. HR–W: Ally Pickering. 2B–W: Danny Barker; SBL: Kami Schlag, Josie Clay. RBI–W: Ally Pickering, Jesse Nicholson, Grace McDonald, Macy Johnson; SBL: Kami Schlag, Kinzey Foley. DP–W: 1. LOB–W: 12; SBL: 4.