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. jj

    Hey, I was brough up Catholic and no one separated the boys from the girls...that's just whacky to use that as an excuse not to play this team....maybe they were afraid to lose to a girl? The coach that refused to play should find something else to do.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Antwoine in Atlanta

    The politically correct answer is yes... she should be able to play and the opponents should try to win at all cost... including not holding back at all on any play towards second base.

    Its puishing the envelope for the sake of pushing the envelope....and that is part of the message that is being pushed her as well. Sure let her play. And If it is not a contact sport (as the article claims) when that runner on first attempts to steal second base and runns into her there should be no problems IF she gets injured. So we don't have to sue her school and the distrit for letting her play nor do we sue the opposign teams school and district for running into her.

    Once again... push the "Can we do a thing" envelope and never ever asking "Should we". And I just don't think its a good idea for anyone involved.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Actually, yes we should. If she's not afraid to be out there, I do not see a problem.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • terri

      Women are police officers, fire fighters, soldiers, think they shouldn't play baseball with the boys if they are good enough to do it? Get a grip.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • CosmicC

      Then don't get involved. I coached girls soccer for 14 years. That IS a contact sport and my girls team beat boys teams in scrimmages (couldn't play them in league games). If she made the state champion team and the coach was playing her in the final game I have to think she's good enough to play and she's tough enough to deal with a compressed high school sports season. If she got this far I'm sure she's had her share of injuries. BTW, if you haven't checked your calendar it's 2012, not 1912. Please join us in the current century.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. nilla

    I wonder how the Our Lady players feel about this. All that hard work, and they miss out on the championship game because of the school's administrators' convictions.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • JustA-Thought

      I am not sure whether it is an environment like this that Produces people like J. Sandusky – Or If it provides a cloaked environment for such perverts to operate in??

      May 11, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ralph

    our lady of sorrows is pretty sad alright. wonder how many of them believe the women should wear burqua's as well. what century do they think they are in? sounds like an off shoot of those westboro babtist nut bags.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. wa

    Maybe the coach was disaapointed it was one less boy he couldn't watch in tight pants?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. eroteme

    I have not yet decided which is the less attractive for me, a female athlete or a female trumpet player.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • sqeptiq

      Between a bigot who keeps his mouth shut and a bigot who advertises, it's no contest...the latter is more disgusting.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. barcaforever

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The team chickened out cause they were afraid to get their a*sses kicked by a girl lmaoooo =D

    May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ron in California

    Our Lady of Sorrows must be very sorrow that the team who worships a woman behaved badly towards a woman.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. concjo

    First, I am a Christian and I believe this to be silly. If it was wrestling or something like that, i could see it as something you could pass on based on your beliefs. I could also see it if you were boycotting women in baseball IF she had some other choice, which she did not. Just does not make sense, it's not standing by your religion. It's showing people that you can make an excuse for anything. Please do not judge all christians by these actions.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      I do not even see an issue if she DID have a choice. If she's good enough to be on the team, why not?

      May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. MLG

    I voted against Amendment 1 in NC on Tuesday. I believe gay people have the right to be miserable just like every other married person in this state. As for the forfeit, they were just scared of the girl at 2nd base, plain and simple.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dangerkittie

    Here's another question – how is playing a baseball game equivalent to educating students of mixed genders? I mean, was it suddenly going to turn into a math class?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mkrt

    "The more boys, the better!"
    Sincerely, your local Catholic Priest

    May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. John Thomas

    The catholics only want to play with boys. No news here.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. bambam

    Wow...what century is this? It's yet another the Teapublicans....who still live in the dark ages!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake Jackson

      Have to remember also that this occurred in Arizona, part of the new South.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. seeliespright

    Separate but equal, right? Not.

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