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. James PDX

    I thought Christianity was based on faith. Did this school really lack the faith in their teaching of these students that they thought 1 game of baseball with 1 girl would ruin all of their hard work? Maybe they need to be better teachers.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. kezersoze

    Anyone see the irony in the name of the Catholic school? Our Lady of the Sorrows academy wont play against a girl?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bubba

    They are obviously afraid of cooties; if it was a little boy on third, they'd be all over him.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. Horus

    You know I actually benefited from the Catholic school segregation policy growing up. I went to public school but there were two big Catholic private schools in the area. Most all those girls showed up at our parties in high school, and were so deprived all you had to do was say hello to get to second base 😉

    May 11, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. Scottish Mama

    I did not see where it is in the rules where women cannot play or CNN did not report whether it was against the rules. Oh, wait, it is in AZ. (Sheriff A. lives there) They need to get rid of Jan Brewer also and not because she is a woman.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Clearly it isn't against the rules or Mesa would have been disqualified from even entering the tournament. CNN shouldn't have to state facts that we can easily figure out for ourselves. How about giving CNN a break when a break is due them?

      May 11, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Juli

      It's not against any rules. She chose to sit out of the games at their school out of respect, since it's an all boy's school. And they chose to forfeit the last game because it's against their morals to play a sport with a girl.

      It's unfortunate that they are teaching such things to the boys at LSA, but this isn't some big scandal; it's just a difference of opinions that probably left the players of both teams disappointed about the end to their baseball season.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. yeah yeah

    Really this is High Shchool?.....and a team with this chick is champions....HAHAHAHAHA

    Arizona is a SORRY baseball State!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      The "chick" plays 2nd base for an undefeated team that won the semi-final game on the field. People who play 2nd base at that level are tough. I wouldn't call her a "chick." I'd call her an impressive young woman.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. The Lady of Sorrows team (fitting name) should have told the truth that the real reason they didn't play is they were too cowardly to face losing to a girl.

      All they are teaching those boys is how to devalue women. Gotta love those churches out there teaching hate and discrimination. Sheesh just what we need is more bloated male ego ...

      May 11, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd

      Life is going to be rough for you when you hit the grown up real world.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • HUHA

      Obviously you're clueless.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Juli

      Because girls can't play baseball?

      Wow, you're worse than the school that wont give her the respect of treating her like any other athlete.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. badcyclist

    I don't see a whole lot of good Catholic values or principles on display, Lady of Sorrows. Just small-mindedness and prejudice, with a pinch of cowardice.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mama Bear

    Surely they will re-think's 2012

    May 11, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Stephen

    They are not forcing their teaching style on anybody. They chose to hold to their beliefs and not play. How is that forcing their beliefs on anybody? They lost and the other team won. If they forced the other team to forfeit or forced the other team to play without the girl. That would be forcing their teaching style onto other schools. I see no issue with this.
    Our lady of sorrows knew that this could be an issue going into the season/postseason. They knew if they were matched up against that school they would be forced to forfeit. When the situation arose they forfeit the game. The other team is the champions. What is so wrong about that?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      What's so wrong about that is that these teams played hard all season to fairly compete in a match to prove they are the better team and win a championship. The whole point of the season was ruined. Not to mention the guilt they laid on this poor girl by making her the reason nobody got to play in the championship. Segregated learning environment or not, you can't say that an entire academic career could be invalidated by a couple of hours on a baseball diamond with 1 girl you'd likely never even get close enough to talk to. That's a ridiculous assertion and excuse to hide that they simply don't think women should be allowed to play sports.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Juli

      Agreed. Why is this a big enough detail for a national paper to write about it?

      Both teams acted respectfully throughout the season. When games were held at the all-boys catholic school, the girl stayed home– when they were to be played at a neutral venue, the girl went; and when that didn't work for the opposing team, they voluntarily elected to stay home and thus forfeit. Why are people still talking about this???

      May 11, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Stephen, how? I'll try to explain. When a team enters a tournament, they agree to do their best to field a legal team for all games assigned. The other teams, in return, get some reassurance that they get to play as many games as possible.

      The concept here is to play games and not necessarily win every game. The experience of the championship game was taken from Mesa for reasons that were within the control of the Catholic team.

      This taking away from others is an imposition.

      Further, the school may have been obeying church law but in doing so they violated God's law. Love your neighbors. Taking away a joyful experience from your neighbor is clearly not an example of loving your neighbor.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Degrin

    This just in....the world is flat again! And we have our heads back in the sand.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. James PDX

    Sports are all about using your strengths and exploiting your opponent's weaknesses in order to win. This Catholic team was obviously so weak that they couldn't even step on a field with a young lady without fear of being corrupted. So the other team was able to win by exploiting their opponent's weak morals and wills. Therefore, the better team won.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. ThePuzzler

    Our Lady Of The Hypocrites is more like it. Leave it to the Catholic Church to be living in the 15th century.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. mopery

    Question: How do you separate the men from the boys at seminary school?

    Answer: With a crowbar!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. blessings

    There are at least five (5) Catholic schools in our diocese, and all of them are co-ed. It is not a smart statement to make to the contrary about the Catholic Church in general.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Josh

    Our Lady of D-bags. A team of scared little children. That includes the supposed adults.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
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