Adversity helping Mountaineers to state semifinals

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MADISON, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Logyn Estes was back in the cages Tuesday afternoon for Madison County. After a shoulder injury kept her off the field for more than a month, its a feeling she cherishes.

"Its just like the best feeling ever," Estes said. "Like people say, you don't know what you had until its gone. Now I feel like I just cherish it even more than I did before."

Estes was the last of a string of injuries for the Mountaineers this season. That started when second baseman Hannah Johnson was lost for the year before the season began.

"Had a meeting and said 'look, everyone's got to step up," Madison County softball coach Jesse Yowell recalled. "Everybody's got to pick that little extra up, pull together as a team and try that much harder."

"We know how to overcome our difficulties," said junior second baseman Bailey Smith. "I think that's been a big part of getting past our losses and everything."

"As the season went on," Estes added, "we kind of had more injures and more set-backs, but each person I feel like just stepped up even more. We've still be so successful with it and I think its made us even stronger as a team."

In all, the Mountaineers suffered three major injuries this season. Johnson suffered a season-ending knee injury, Estes dislocated her shoulder and pitcher Emily Seale fractured a bone in her pitching wrist.

The team says those injuries brought the team closer together.

"Knowing that I had to step up and I had to work harder," Seale said. "It was no choice, I had to do it. I did it for my team."

"I think they did a really good job coming together as a team," Yowell said, "filling those voids and winning."

Madison County is in the state semifinals for the sixth time in the last decade. They hope that adversity will help this week when the team takes the field Thursday against Lebanon at Radford University.

"Its made each and every one of us step up to the plate and try to get stronger and its made the team stronger along the way," Seale said. "So when all of us are back and healthy, we're just a big, stronger team."

"Each player just working harder in practice," Estes added. "Me personally, I'm so grateful for my teammates and giving me another chance to come back and play."

"We know that we can accomplish whatever if we do it as a team," Smith added. "If we get down one inning or late in the game and we're down, we'll be able to do it."

"Its been a total team effort," Yowell said, "not just one person. We've had a lot of adversities. They've all come together."