May 11th, 2012
07:49 AM ET

Baseball final forfeited because of girl at second base

The Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship baseball game wasn't played Thursday night because Mesa Prep's second baseman is a girl.

Paige Sultzbach, a freshman, is playing baseball because her high school doesn't offer girls softball. But the school Mesa Prep was to face in the final, Our Lady of Sorrows Academy, said its boys would not compete against a team with a girl and forfeited the game - and the state title - to Mesa Prep.

"As a Catholic school, we promote the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education,” Our Lady of Sorrows said in a statement, according to CNN affiliate KTVK.

“It takes tremendous moral courage to stand by what it is you believe, and they are doing what they think is right,” Mesa Prep Headmaster Robert Wagner told KTVK.

But Sultzbach's mother, Pamela Sultzbach, said her daughter and the Mesa Prep team were being done a disservice.

"This is not a contact sport. It shouldn't be an issue. It wasn't that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it's that (they believe) that a girl's place is not on a field," Pamela Sultzbach told the Arizona Republic.

"I respect their views, but it's a bit out of the 18th century," Amy Arnold, Mesa Prep's athletic director, told the Republic.

Mesa Prep and Our Lady of Sorrows played twice during the regular season, but Sultzbach sat out, as they were away games for her team.

“It was on their field, and I felt the need to respect their rules,” she told KTVK.

The final would have been on a neutral field, and Sultzbach wanted to play.

Now, despite being hailed as state champions, Mesa Prep will feel like they've missed something, Pamela Sultzbach said.

"This team has worked so hard," she said. "They're undefeated. They had one game left. At our school, we're taught that when you start something, you complete it, and they weren't done."

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Filed under: Arizona • Baseball • Sports
soundoff (1,403 Responses)
  1. Stardust

    This coming from a school whose name is "Our LADY or Sorrows."

    May 11, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Nsereko

    This is too Ironic; A school named after a WOMAN can not play against a girl! And then the author of this article goes ahead and call the girl a FRESHMAN! May be no wonder the boys refused to play; schools need to change that archaic term freshman to first year.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joe Rockbottom

    Gee, and catholics wonder why everyone thinks the catholic church is run by morons...Do these people know it is the year 2012? Not 1012. All they are doing with their little private boys school is teaching their boys to grow up to be misogynists...just like their catholic priest teachers who are too scared of women to allow them into the leadership of their church. What a bunch of idiots.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Interested48

      Amen, brother. The Catholic Church has always treated women as lesser beings. That's one of the many reasons I left years ago and couldn't be happier.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • alwaysdem

      Excellent post.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Nomad

      Well said. I might understand if it were the states wrestling championsip. Seriously, how does a girl at second base cross any imagined or unimagined borders?

      May 11, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • nate

      This isn't all Catholic schools. The one here in town is completely co-ed but seperate in sports like all schools are. And if there was a girl on a guys team I doubt they would boycott. This is the Santorum Right- Wing Extreme Catholics that are a minority but scream the most and therefor make us all look like crazies.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      I guess her team does not mind wondering if other teams took it easy on them at second base? The Catholic school at least were holding by their ethical decision... even if it made them lose the game . Even if it meant yet more anti Catholic derision poured out by religious bigots. The Catholic school has those rules at the high school level of play because of the risk of life threatening or crippling injury. So stop being ignorant. I would rather trust those kids than you.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      The second place & catcher's positions are dangerous, Nomad, for anyone without the body mass to withstand a committed take out play. It is a position where hard physical contact is expected. It only takes 2 lbs of pressure to dislodge the mandible(jawbone), 9 lbs to break the nose, & only 15 to fracture the skull. These figures are for average male adults who have heavier facial bones in the jaw, nose, & brow. Even at her full adult growth her bones will simply not be as sturdy as the bones the males on this team have. This divergence in students bone structures after puberty is the reason why we still have separate teams in PUBLIC High Schools. The risk for a crippling or fatal event increases at that point.
      These students are sworn to an ethical code as a condition of enrollment. Harming anyone, when there is a reason to suspect that harm could result, is a violation of those ethics. So they stuck to what was right, rather than what would win the game. It is a shame... It gave the religious bigots an opportunity to mock them, but any other pacifistic school would have done the same. Her school has allowed her to risk her life for a game.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sargent pepper

    the girl single handedly defeated the other team.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Really Jersey

      No it was a freely given gift, because the Catholic school's students did not want to accidentally harm her.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TSRVT

    Organized religion is the root of all evil.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • scoobypoo

      Maybe not _all_ evil, but a darn good portion of it.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dean

    The Mesa Prep school was undefeated and they had played the other team twice already this year......guess they didn't want to lose a thired time to the girl's team.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. J C Lewis

    It's amazing how children are capable of learning lessons that their parents refuse to.

    The adults are saying that forfeiting took tremendous coursage. The children are saying, "When you refuse to play with someone because of how they were born; you're a loser."

    May 11, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Really Jersey

      So, what will those immature children say when bones are broken or the player crippled...Tough, she deserved it? The adults have life experience that allows them to see past reckless youth & recognize that PUBLIC High Schools(including hers) have separate teams for SAFETY reasons after puberty.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sassafrass

    This is dumb.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. adampk17

    Anyone who truly believes in gender equality should be applauding the boys. High School and college sports are one way street. Girls can play on boys team, boys? No, don't be a sissy an want to play volleyball. You won't be allowed.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mattand

      Geez, did you even read the article? She's on the baseball team because her school had no alternative team for girls.

      You're one of those guys who thinks men are victims in today's world, aren't you?

      May 11, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. Aquahealer

    Can't play baseball with a girl? What if it was a dog? Or maybe a kangaroo? This must be some kind of Christian segregation. Don't trust Christians they're liars and cheats! (sorry but I had to say it, I just had a Pastor and his wife rip me off $82,000, not a big fan of those freaks) Yeah...We're still living in the stone age....how the heck do I get outta here!!!!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. just sayin

    Pathetic outdated thinking. Well instead of playing on the field the students can spend their time being touched by the priests.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. GinnyL

    Why is it so darn hard for people just to accept the school's philosophy? I certainly don't agree with it, having been a setter on a men's volleyball team years ago (on a military base no less), but I have no trouble honoring it since it causes no harm to anyone. I don't agree with Islam and a number of other religions either but certainly don't condemn them. Students' parents do not have to send their sons to the school. It's THEIR choice, not ours.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Really Jersey

      It was the risk of injury to the player at second base that triggered the default. It is a shame her school does not have a girls' team due to lack of players because being at that position with the guys' team IS dangerous. If it was not a problem there would not be separate teams after puberty in all PUBLIC High Schools.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TSRVT

    One MORE reason to have nothing to to with ANY organized religion.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. colby

    thats a sad story, how can a bunch od idiots use god as a reason to not play baseball. (Losers)

    May 11, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Hal 9000

    Hey I bet they could win the Taliban games. Maybe they could join the Iranian Baseball League I understand that they still use the Shariah Rules!!

    Right Wing religious fundamentalists need to stopped!!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
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