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. HockeyGirl

    How weird. My Catholic high school was co-ed. In fact our girls' hockey team played our boys' Junior Varsity team for fun (though they couldn't check us). Why they would refuse to play baseball with this girl on the opposing team is beyond me.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      At a guess? Because they were afraid she was the better athlete and would have been really bummed to have been "beaten by a mere girl." Just too bad she didn't get the chance to beat them on the field.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kien

    They don't let boys play on girls teams. Equality works both ways.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scottish Mama

      The girls team did not have enough for a softball league of their own.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      My school didn't offer soccer as a boy's sport. Should all the boys have been allowed to try out for the girls team? Oh wait, then you would have a boys team.

      Enough is enough already.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josef F

      Did you even read the story (or have someone read it to you, since you are probably illiterate)?
      She was allowed to play on the boy's team because there was no girl's softball team. Find a girl's team without a corresponding boy's team and sure, boys should be allowed to play on in.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "Should all the boys have been allowed to try out for the girls team? Oh wait, then you would have a boys team."

      only if they were good enough to make the team, you are assuming a lot.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nodack

    Our junior high soccer team was a mix of boys and girls and when we played another team they mixed half their team with half our team and played.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bubba

    "religion is such a joke. All it does is promote hatred, bigotry, and ignorance." Be fair – also tolerance and acceptance and all kind of good things. When they do stuff like this, they are untrue to their own ideals.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • UhYeaOk

      Their decision had nothing to do with religion moron. Take your hate somewhere else...

      May 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      This isn't about religion idiot. Its about women being women and men being men. The fact that it was a catholic school means nothing. But go ahead and let your bigotry dictate all aspects of your life.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JR

      For you people calling others 'idiots' for saying this was religion based READ THE STORY!!
      Quote:
      "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.

      End quote

      Read the story before calling people who can read idiots. YOU are the idiots!

      May 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. WildMontana

    All this school is teaching is that girls are second class citizens. The team should be kicked out of the league. Yet another reason I'm no longer a Catholic.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • kien

      So if a girls team didn't let boys play on their team the boys would be considered second class citizens? Equality works both ways.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Dear Paige. I salute you. You earned your place on that team by being a good player, and deserve to have won the championship fairly – by beating them on the field. But take heart. They may say they have moral objections to playing against a team with a girl, but the reality is they were probably afraid you'd show them you were a superior athlete and they're hiding behind the moral objection rather than face that fact.

    Good luck in your future athletic challenges!

    May 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. NOT MY CHAIR

    “It was on their field, and I felt the need to respect their rules,” no they are Christians, only give people respect that has shown it you you. history will has show us that christians do no deserve respect

    May 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. UrAverageJoe

    The Catholic Church is a criminal organization and will remain so until EVERY Priest, Cardinal and Pope who looked the other way or referred to "counseling" their brethren that were molesting and RAPING small children are arrested and brought to justice. They have NO MORAL STANDING on any issue until they do!

    May 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Thinks2010

    Yet another lame excuse for Catholic misogyny.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rick

    You can be sure that the kids had no vote in this decision. It was the teachers and administrators trying to impose their view of morality on the kids. And, who suffered for it? The young lady's team probably isn't happy with getting a championship that they didn't earn and the boy's team never got to compete when they had earning the right to. No winners – only losers.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Aaron

    Our Lady of Sorrows really is a sorry excuse for a school.
    Doesn't surprise me being Arizona and Catholics.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Loreeeeeeee

    Well, she sat out the last two times they played each other. Maybe she just should have sat out the final time, too.

    I do think that the boys catholic school is moronic, small minded and incorrect.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Dave

    I would have thought that with a name like 'Our Lady of Sorrows Academy' the school would have been Roman Catholic. Obviously I was mistaken and it is in fact an Islamic school. Wondeful life skills they are teaching their student body.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. UrAverageJoe

    Our Lady of Sorrows? More like our Lady of whiners . . . .

    May 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Catholusisum

    Ah yes, the ignorant religious zealots who still belive we should be stuck in middle ages fearng our own shadows. People wonder why we don't want bible-thumpers in political office – it is for reasons just like this.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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