Daily News Correspondent
The Golden Gate softball team had its postseason hopes dashed on Wednesday when Cape Coral-Mariner scored five runs late in the game to win 6-2 in Class 5A-Region 3 quarterfinal action at the Titans home field.
The decisive hit for Mariner came with two out in the top of the fifth inning, when pitcher Alyssa Langdale smacked a two-run double off the left field fence to give the Tritons a 3-2 lead.
Mariner (14-11) added three runs in the top of the seventh off Titans starter Marinna Shadley to secure the win.
The loss not only meant the end of Golden Gate’s season, but it also brought to a close Shadley’s prep career, one of the best in the history of Collier County.
Before Shadley arrived at Golden Gate (20-8), the Titans could barely win a game, often falling victim to the sport’s mercy rule. In Shadley’s four years, Golden Gate went from perennial losers to district champions this season.
Along the way, Shadley, who will play for East Middle Tennessee State next season, was twice named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, leading the country in hitting with a .744 average and second in steals with 70 as a sophomore.
On April 18, Shadley, who hit .616 this season, was named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District Player of the Year.
“Marinna had an amazing career,” said her father and Titans coach Gerry Shadley. “In my 39 years of coaching, I’ve never seen another athlete as self-motivated and passionate as her, in all aspects of her life.”
Shadley went 2-for-3 on Wednesday, scoring both Titans runs.
Besides shining on the softball diamond, Shadley is also a star in the classroom. The senior has a 4.9 GPA and has missed just one day of school since kindergarten — the day she took her recruiting visit to the East Middle Tennessee campus.