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. Edwin

    Everything the mom said was true - they're not doing it out of respect, but out of a belief that boys and girls should not play together. That is their right as a school and a religion, but it is not in keeping with mainstream American values - nor mainstream Catholic values, for that matter.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. jake1969

    This is absurd. It's baseball. Give me a break. Given Mesa is undefeated and probably would've taken it to the other team, kind of a convenient excuse isn't it? They just didn't want to get BEAT by a team with a girl!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      @jake1969 Your childish response and lack of analytical capabilities is rather absurd.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ethos Marketing

    This is pretty old school if you ask me. I wonder if this guy even knows the history of baseball and that is was created and played by women. Maybe he should pick a different sport to coach.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. RAD

    WOW I would be so upset with my coach to go the state championship and forfeit. But that is what religion does to so many people. Have a belief in God but use common sense in your everyday life ... a proud ex-catholic

    May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      You mean "believe in God until it becomes inconvenient." A proud still-Catholic.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • truebob

      I'm pretty sure what we ex catholics mean is that we don't buy it when you change your story every generation. Meat on Friday, no hats for the ladies, okay to be a pedophile and lead mass. Kill the jews? Okay. Try and only have a reasonable number of children? going to hell. It's pretty stupid and only brainwashing as a child will keep you from acknowledging it. Now the mass doesn't even make sense. "With your spirit"? "Confess to one baptism"? consubstantial? really?

      May 11, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • MamainNJ

      RAD & Joseph you are both off base on this. This has nothing to do with God nor does it have anything to do with being a Christian. Right or wrong, this is a man made rule. Our Lady of Sorrows in my opinion is wrong. If they have this policy then they should not be playing in a league that allows girls to play. They expect Mesa to follow their policy and have shown no mutual respect for Mesa. This girl gave them the respect of not playing when on their field. Where was the respect for her?

      May 11, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Will

    Would it be okay for a boy to play on a girl's softball team if there wasnt a baseball team available? Probably not.....

    May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • DianeL

      the odds of there not being a boys team if there is a girls team (other then in a all girls school) is next to nil. Most schools will have boys sports and only have girls if the budget allows. Yes supposedly there has been legislation to make it more even but when the money and/or participation level isn't there it's the girls that are usually cut first.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joseph

    I respect that the team stuck by their values which often requires personal sacrifice (a great life lesson). There is great value in keeping the genders separate during their adolescent years, even many public school districts have started to figure that out. It minimizes the distraction and allows for the formation of a young adult with great self-esteem. This type of outlook shouldn't be compromised by something as silly as a baseball game. Our Lady of Sorrows' team are true champions in my eyes.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Nope, just did not want to lose again. Very unsportsmanlike. Great values. :/

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

      Sorry, but even you called it "a silly baseball game".....please explain how this would have been such a distraction as to harm the moral upbringing of all the children involved? Sorry, but at this point, the only news that comes out about Catholics involves children in a negative aspect, you will forgive the rest of us for not taking anything you say seriously.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. mwolve

    @Mike, the difference is that boys are typically, though not always, physically superior (bigger, faster, stronger), especially if you look at the teams in the agregate. So iti s logical that if a girl can compete with the boys, she should be able to whether or not they have a softball team. Once they step out on the field, their gender doesn't matter, especially in the championship game. The teams have earned that spot with their ability to play the sport.
    Heck, we had a girl on our middle school football team, she started, and was not the kicker. That was a very good team too, won the city championship, in an area known for producing football players. Many of the guys she played with and against eventually went on to earn college scholarships in football or basketball.
    I will never understand people who applaud others for sticking their heads in the sand and being difficult for the sake fo being difficult and nothing more.

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

      Birds of a feather.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. mwolve

    @Joseph, it was one game, maybe a series. It is not like anyone was forcing the shcool to integrate. The academic/distraction argument is completely bogus in this situation.

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

    So you're actually slamming a group of people for standing for what they believe in? Funny, coming from you sackless dolts.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • terri

      Absolutely, when that belief is based on bigotry and 18th century issues that the rest of us got past ages ago you better believe it.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Like Rev. Phelps? Aryan brotherhood? Al Qaeda? They all stand for what they believe in.

      When what you believe is insane, do not expect to be applauded for sticking to your convictions.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. wa

    I just can't beleive anyone would agree this is a good idea. The girl must have skills. Not only is she starting on a championship team, she is a freshman.

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

    What's the matter boys, afraid a girl will get the better of you?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Horus

    @Mike – if the boy had no other option to softball, and wanted to play, why is that a problem? My daughter has trained in martial arts since she was 5. She holds a 1dan in Shorin Ryu and kick-boxing. She is currently waiting out the age requirement to receive her 1dan in Aikido. She has competed against, and beaten plenty of "boys" in tournaments. ALL men are not stronger, or more athletic, or aggressive than ALL women.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ben

    The view of Our Lady's Sorrow is outdated by 300 years! I mean do they still teach black children and white children differently?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. wa

    Lady of Sorrows?!?!!?? Who names a school that? Sounds more like the name of a brothel.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kenny

    I am all for equality. And while baseball isnt considered a contact sport, there are situations where it does occur, specially at 2nd base. A hard slide into second will be looked at as wrong because a girl is covering the base....taking away from the game. Its def a tough situation.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |

      I once tried to steal second base, but was thrown out by her old man. 😉

      May 11, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Not really. She knows the game clearly. How does being a girl even enter into it?

      May 11, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
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