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. Bob

    Christianity and Islam, the same ancient ignorant beliefs. Little difference between Taliban and Christians.

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

      Your statement only displays your own ignorance. Especially since this article is about a CATHOLIC school, not a Christian one.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Uh, Catholics ARE Christians...

      May 11, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Andrij Witiuk

    Rigid Christianity are just like the Taliban. Whichever adults were involved with this decision should be fired and made to write on a blackboard. 'Thou shalt not discriminate against girls and women.'

    May 11, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. djsmiami

    Once again, religious doctrine plays a part in decision making........sad. They deserve the name of "Our lady of Sorrow"

    May 11, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. StupiditySlam

    In our area, I have seen girls play soccer in boys teams. Nobody seemed to mind that, and the girls held their own just fine. My daughter's team plays regularly against boys teams in scrimmage games and indoor soccer. And soccer is a contact sport, believe me.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. fangpi

    Don't agree with their decision, but contrary to comments otherwise, the Catholic school didn't "force their will" on anyone. They forfeited, handing their opponent the victory. Those choosing to send their kids to gender-segregated private parochial school accept this educational philosophy. Their kids are minors and as such, frankly don't get the choice.

    Congratulations to the team with the girl that won, forfeit or not.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. john

    COWARDS!!! They are definitely losers and don't deserve a championship.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. GrouchyKat

    Once more Liberals insult values that don't match their own.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      Everytime I read a comment with similar content as yours I have to HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. Majority of polls, including those commissioned by the right, show the rest of the world disagrees with you. The right, as part of their agenda, is constantly trying to shut up any opposition or any opinion that disagree with them. It's pathological.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Just Liberals?

      May 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      Yeah, well, I guess it comes from the conservatives trying to steal our rights, force their beliefs down our throats, constantly telling us we're terrible sinners who are going to Hell, not to mention their history of intolerance, war, and outright murder (and I'm not even going to mention sodomy of young boys by their priests and covering it up).

      May 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert in UT

      Yup, when the "value" is that you won't let a HS baseball team play because the other team has a girl on 2nd base, those "values" deserve to be insulted. Just like the "value" that women shouldn't be seen in public, or allowed to vote.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • tkjtkj

      "insult" ???!!!??? You don't feel that the heroic girl player was insulted??? you see no predjudicial discriminatory behaviour here?? you dont see the insult to women who are seen by your 'church' as inferior? you don's see bishops' actions against their own nuns as insults?? What planet are you from, again?

      May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Babybyrd

    So sad the Catholic religion thinks so little of women.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. StupiditySlam

    And the Lady of Sorrows hid her face weeping....

    May 11, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Su Lynn

    The catholic school should be banned from the league! If you won't honor league rules you can't belong.

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

      Exactly if the local Our Lady of the Aryan Race school team refused to play a team with a black player how would the league deal with them. I mean they are just holding tight to their convictions..... Its their right to pick and choose the teams they want to play, right?

      May 11, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegnd


      May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Donna

    The parents of these boys in this parochial school should be ashamed for their intolerance and for encouraging these kids to take their ball and go home rather than play with someone who's different! Sad!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Fernando

    How come yall aren't complaining about the girl sitting out the 2 games on "their" field.....or do you think she was right then? Which one is it. how do you know the boys didn't agree as a team they didn't want to play...why is it automatically determined it was the school that decided...if that was the case and kids were upset don't you think you'd read something about the kids wanting to play and the school going against their will. Stop being sheep and believing everything at face value.

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

      Frankly, that would be an even worse situation. BTW, it is clearly coming from the administration as is made quite clear in the article. And frankly I think it is a complete shame that she sat out those two games. I do not see how one team should be able to dictate to all of the others. What if a school does not believe in playing black players? Really, there is NO difference. Pure discrimination based on personal belief.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      How do you know it's not?

      May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. JDWells

    Cpt Barfbag: absolutely the funniest thing I've heard in a long time!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. Smitty

    They didn't forfeit the game because they were playing a girl, they forfeit the game because they are afraid to get beat by a girl. What a bunch of wimps, and it only teaches those kids to quit when they think something is unfair. Our Lady of Sorrows is raising a bunch of "ladies".

    May 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. buford

    It is imperative to respect freedom of religion. So it is the Lady of Sorrows choice to forfeit.
    But it is also imperative to respect freedom of speech. So here it is... Lady of Sorrows has lived into their name. What a sad day when a team of kids, that has worked hard all year, is denied the chance to compete because of an antiquated belief. When a catholic organizations perpetuates the subjugation of women's rights, which is exactly what this is, it is a sad day for the church and our culture as a whole. When religious faith dictates anything short of equality, it should be challenged and reconsidered. Why choose sorrow and divisiveness when you can choose happiness and inclusion?

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