It was just over 48 hours since she had thrown a perfect game against Royal Palm Beach High School when I sat down intending to write the most perfect introduction to Ahead of the Spread’s Player Profile on pitcher, Ally Costa. Jupiter High’s very own… but I couldn’t concentrate! All I could think of was Costa’s answer to my question from our phone interview Thursday afternoon.
What are your personal goals for this season?
Before we get to her answer, it’s important to note that Ally Costa is a senior at Jupiter High School who went 24-4 last year with a 1.06 ERA, 232 Strikeouts against only 34 Walks, threw 24 Complete Games, 10 Shutouts, 4 No-hitters, and 1 Perfect Game which featured 19 strikeouts. She was named the 2016 All-Palm Beach Softball Player of the Year and committed to play collegiately at Eckerd College.
I had to twist Costa’s arm a bit (figuratively because we spoke over the phone) after she initially replied, “Ultimately, I just want to make it past Regionals because that was a big upset.” I wanted her to talk about her PERSONAL goals – achievements that most of us could never dream of grasping. Despite her decorated resume, Costa is one of the most down-to-earth young ladies you will ever meet BUT I would not relent! I was determined to get a real answer. Talk about yourself, Ally. Tell me what you, the individual, would like to accomplish this season.
“Well, there’s one little thing,” said Costa as I became elated sensing my precious answer was near. How could one follow up a season like your 2016 campaign? What do you still crave? What drives you? What do you want most in this world? Luxury? Fame? Glory? Riches? The moon?
“I want to win the first pitch in every count.”
And I was floored. I wanted to say “Oh, that’s why you’re so good!” That answer was so beautiful that even hours later reflecting on it can still stir something inside me. Not everyone can think like that. Not everyone realizes that the fight isn’t won with physical prowess and strength but rather the battleground is in the mind. Focus on the now. Win this pitch. Live in this moment. A special answer from a special player.
Costa, originally from Boston Massachusetts, recognizes that she couldn’t do it without the love and support from her family. Her parents, Kim and Paul Costa, along with older brother Chris play an integral role in the life of the still emerging phenome. She also credits the Jupiter High School Coaching Staff for helping to manage her emotions throughout the course of competition and pitching coach, Stacey Townsend, for working on both her physical and mental game.
You were the 2016 All-Area Player of the Year, what does that mean to you?
“It means a lot because it shows that all the hard work paid off. People see Ally Costa as the Player of the Year but, honestly, if I didn’t have the girls behind me and the girls in the lineup – my success would be nothing.”
Costa uttered those words just after 3pm Eastern Time on Thursday the second day of March, 2017. Less than four hours later, her teammates would rise to the occasion and aid in a victory over Palm Beach Central. Jupiter’s record is now 6-0, led by Costa who has thrown all but five of her team’s innings thus far in 2017. Jupiter’s season continues this weekend in Venice Florida as they set to take on Venice High School and North Fort Myers High School.
“We have all talked about it and we don’t care about personal accolades. We understand that they will come with the team’s success. We just work and feed off each other.”
Do the Jupiter Lady Warriors have what it takes to make a magical run this season? Only time will tell. What I do know is that you could hear Ally Costa smile through the phone when she was asked how she became a pitcher and you could feel her passion and love for the game as she said,
“I just love having the ball in my hands.”
Best of luck to Jupiter’s Softball team and a big thank you to our new friend, Ally Costa!