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. Confused?

    Everyone realizes that this school teaches that women belong in the kitchen and thats it right?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. gregg

    The Catholic church should have no control over what another does. They should have played the final game. If the Catholic church spent more time getting rid of pedophile priests and keep their noses out of EVERYBODY else's business, the world would be a better place.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    hahah to Chicken out because you dont want to face the fact that a girl won and is more superior to you??? Are lady of pathetic sorrows.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Renee

    As a lifetime Catholic and product of Catholic schools from grade school through college, I find the position of the Catholic school to be inexcusable. They have a right to enforce their own beliefs in their school, but throughout my education I was ALWAYS taught to be respectful of others who may have varying religious beliefs. If they don't want to have girls on their team, fine, but the school had no business being so rude, disrespectful and arrogant in failing to respect the other team. They did their students a grave dis-service.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. David L.

    Truth is, Our Lady of Sorrows knew they didn't have a prayer of winning, so they forfeited on "moral grounds" rather than face a fair and resounding defeat.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Antwoine in Atlanta

    Here's something else being looked over in that article.... Those two teams met twice before during the regular season... and she CHOOSE not to play in either... citing "it was on their palying feild and decided to respect their rules". It's a cop out... and sounds more like good old fashion cheating to me. She should have played in ALL THE GAMES. Period.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Easy Victor

      Overlooked? No. Everyone else realizes that she did it for respect because it was on THEIR field. What would the other team had done if she decided to play in those games?? Probably forfeited those also.

      How do you rationalize a "cop out"? Who's is "copping out"? Cheating? Lot's of insinuation, but none make sense.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dick Zinya

    Well, up until a couple of years ago, it was heresy in the catholic church to say the earth wasn't flat. People were killed for challenging this belief. When you live in the Dark Ages, you'll never see the light.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Easy Victor

    And, even scarier....they vote.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. dad

    thought you would be interested in this.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. ksobserver

    One more example of total ignorance so pervasive in Arizona.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. LA

    The website of the parish indicates that they are connected with the Society of St. Pius X (A group that split off from the Catholic Church after Vatican II), which I believe has had a somewhat rocky relationship with the Holy See. That said, there are currently negotiations between SSPX and the Holy See for re-integration. The point being, while more "traditionalist Catholics" may hold this view, it is not one that is common, even among those Catholics that are orthodox.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Horus

    @Seriously – You are right, it is the school's right to make such a decision. Just as it is my right to call it what it is. And the "harm" is the promotion of the subjugation of women as lesser than men, which is discrimination at a quite fundamental level. I haven't seen many posters questioning the "right" of the school to forfeit; just the antiquated ideology behind it.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. SD

    Here we go, time for the Catholic bashing. I wonder if all of you bash other religions as well, or if it is just Catholics. How about criticizing the school if you dont agree and not an entire religion? I guess freedom of religion only applies to everyone else. Get over yourselves!

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


      Give me a break. The same amendment that grants freedom of religion, also grants freedom of speech.
      People have every right to voice their criticism of a religion, school or whatever they want.
      Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from criticism.

      *You* are the one who needs to get over yourself.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. Broncobuster

    the only people that stand by their beliefs are the old cronies running our sacred heart of sorry ass still living in the 1800s. I bet the players and coaches didnt care about a girl on the other team. way to destroy the pinnacle of 99% of the ball players careers.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. gj2001

    Don't worry boys, there's a lot of men afraid of women too.

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