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. GSW Minnesota

    Seriously? What century is "Our Lady" living in? Gender discrimination has no place in athletics or anywhere else. If this girl is the best player for that position, then she plays. Once again religion gets in the way of common sense. Mesa Prep wins; Our Lady more ways than one.

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

      Yeah and I'm sure you voted for that idiot Al Franken too didn't you?
      You have no credibility.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • terri

      GSW, I couldn't agree more.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Horus

    @Amanda14 – You cannot be serious? High respect and esteem for discriminating against them? Ok then....

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

      Respect and esteem are just code words for segregate and control. Its the old time belief that women are just cows. Certainly valuable and important, but you don't ask their opinions.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. jeff

    sounds like they wanted to save the embarressment of losing to a "girl"

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

      It's that as well as having only beat a girl had they won.
      Too many of you are taking the feelings of the opposing team for granted. They have a right to play or not.
      You're just mad that a girl didn't a chance to "show up" the boys.
      I'm sure her school offers other athletic opportunities. Let her play in one of those, against other girls.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Informed

    Typical. Religion pushing their views on others

    May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      How's that? They are saying the other team can't play a girl. They are simply saying that if they choose to then their team won't play them.
      Don't they have the same rights as everyone else? Or do they need to bow to the almighty wishes of the liberal progressives who think there is absolutely no difference between a boy and a girl?
      Funny how women like to point out that they're only "girls" and shouldn't be subjected to certain things when it benefits them but as soon as one otheir own wants to pursue something in an "all boys" sport they're up in arms that they can't.
      There are certain things women simply CANNOT do, that is a fact. And there are certain things that women do that men CANNOT do. That also is a fact. They are different. get over it already.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lars Babaganoosh

    She's hot.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. CNNuthin

    Can we just tell Arizona, "No thanks. We don't want you in the USA anymore. Get your stuff and go"?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • DJL

      ... and take Texas with you! 😉

      May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jye

      Best comment EVER! 🙂

      May 11, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. WDS

    Good grief. My Catholic high school in the 70s had girls playing on the same teams as boys. Is this school stuck in a time warp?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • sqeptiq

      Yes they are. Study their background. This is not your regular Catholic Church. This is their version of fundamentalist taliban.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. eroteme

    It might be a quandry for the coach who enjoys patting the rear of his players when they have done well.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Albert Wilhelm II

    The boys are kept separate for the Priests.

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

    i'm more worried by the careless decision of (CNN author, Bard Lendon's) use of the term, "second baseMAN" to describe a young lady. Now, THAT type of re-tread thinking is from the 18th century, Brad. C'mon, dude - use your words!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Maybe second baseperson? Unfortunately that's not an English word. Your objection to baseman just sounds silly to me.

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

      "Second baseman" is the name for the position. Likewise, in Hollywood, women are now referred to as "actors," not "actresses." It's the 21st Century, please try to catch up.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    This is ridiculous. What if a boy wanted to play on a girls softball team because he simply liked softball more than baseball? What if he was so good that he hit a home run every single time?
    The girls, and their self righteous mothers, would be up in arms calling it no fair.
    This isn't about a girl wanting to play baseball. It is about the differences between boys and girls. There are sports for both and if your school doesn't offer the one you want then you play something else.
    When I was in H.S. I would have loved to play ice hockey. Guess what? School was too small and no ice hockey was offered. I played basedball and basketball.
    This is a lose-lose situation for the opposing team. It has always been this way and always will no matter how this girls mother wants to belittle their decision as archaic.
    If you win, well you'll have beaten a girl. If you lose, ha ha you lost to a girl. Lose-lose.

    I commend Lady of Sorrows for standing by their beliefs and sticking to their guns and not letting the liberal progressives dictate how they should run their academic programs.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      So you are saying the girl had an unfair advantage over the boys? Otherwise your argument is totally off base.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • MNCounselor

      But that is not even close to the case here. She WANTED to play softball but her school doesn't offer it, so she was allowed to play baseball. Why should she give up something she loves? If you can find me a school anywhere that has a softball team and NO baseball team, then maybe you would have an argument; but I think that you would be awfully hard pressed to find that.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      BTW Mike, you clearly have a low opinion of girls abilities. Losing to a girl simply means you lost to the better player and vice versa. What difference does it really make that is not just in your head.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Legally and morally you are wrong. If a school offers both, they can discriminate. Otherwise, they must allow boys and girls to compete on the same team. This would apply whether the sport was baseball or softball or whatever.

      It is incomprehensible to me that you expect this girl, who has a talent, to sit on the sidelines because there is no all-girl team at her school. If the other school wishes to forfeit it is their right, but that is not in keeping with mainstream American values.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • DJL

      And in this case, her school does NOT have a softball team, so this was the only way for her to compete. Therefore, all your bellyaching is pointless.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • mikeg

      What great moral courage did they exhibit here by refusing to play another team that has a girl on it? None. If they want to develop an all boy's school environment, fine. But they shouldn't complain and fein some courageous stance when they decide to go outside their school into the real world where men and women may interact. The rules of the game weren't imposed on them unfairly, they simply refused to play by the rules that existed going in. No moral courage there.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • noly972

      "When I was in H.S. I would have loved to play ice hockey. Guess what? School was too small and no ice hockey was offered. I played basedball and basketball." So you DO get it, Mike. She wanted to play softball. The school wasn't big enough to field a ladies' softball team. So, she joined the boys' baseball team as the alternative to softball. And, she was apparently good enough to be the starter at a key fielding position on a state championship team. I understand that it's difficult to stop being a bigot, but try.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Keith 74

    This is great!! Can boys play volleyball on girl's teams if no boy's teams exist? Cause they can't in Michigan!!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Drew

    It's time we STOP respecting other points of view when they're prejudiced against any group! If your reason is because of the way someone was born, it's simply wrong and that's all there is to it.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      I love it when the bigots complain that others are being bigoted against them. They do not seem to understand that they are being judged by their ACTIONS not by how they were born.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jen

    Soon as I read the headline I was like 'let me guess. This happened in a southern state.'. Of course it did.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Confused

    Any school with the name "prep" has a nasty habit of recruiting students, expecially athletic students.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
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