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. BobInIrvine

    "Our Lady of Sorrows" is appropriate. What a sad excuse for a school.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Roadrunner

    Sure and if she gets hurt her parents will sue the boys and their school

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

      And if one of the boys got hurt, his parents WOULDN'T sue the school? Ridiculous logic. But thanks for playing.

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

      RR, it is people like you who helped me realize that just because people have the ability to express their opinions, it doesn't mean they should.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • CARLOS

      If we lived by your logic there would be no sports program at all for the fear of being sued.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Realist

    I have some questions for these experts:

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense

    Could you clear these up for me please?

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

      LOL! Good one!

      May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?


      May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • captain_pass

      Love it. Nice Biblical Kung-Fu

      May 11, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fernando

    Which one of you would put your girl on an all boys team.........which one of you would put your son on an all girls team?

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

      If it's legal under league rules, and she can compete, I would. In a second.

      This isn't a boys only team, her participation is legal under league rules. The catholic school had the rules, and opted to participate. It's nice that she opted to give them a special accomodation on their field, but they can't get special accomodations all the time. Sometimes you just have to play under the rules you agreed to at the start of the season.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Me. Next silly question please.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      I'd put my kid on whatever team they were allowed to play on and wanted to play on. I've been playing sports for 4 decades and have played both all male and coed. I've found that people playing in coed leagues tend to show better character and sportsmanship.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Teddy

      I played on an all boys little league team as a child. At my school, we didn't have a girls soccer team, so a couple of girls played on the boys team.

      I think Lady of Sorrow needs to step up into the 21st century.

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

      you mean if my child asked to be on an opposite team? ...then I would let them... you can't force "Against" your child's wants... but you are not being a parent you're being a dictator.

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

    Gotta go along with the church on this one, they are not claiming victimhood, did not put down the young woman or her school,and in so doing sacrificed a mere Game and not their principles.

    Do not know the full story, what are the regions Scholastic Athletic Association RULES are and what future effect upon that associations rulings towards allowance of Curch teams. Status within that league

    There is one point being overlooked, the attendence at a Catholic School, or almost all Religious based, is voluntary and if a parent disagrees with its athletic policys then the parents have choices to make.
    As usual the real story gets lost in all the. Conjecturing of anti religion, religious bigotry, womans lib and mysogyny, until CNN and the media then have an idea on how to increase its ratimgs.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Glen Harvey

    I salute you for your perserverance and humility in the face of tremendous odds. You are heros everyone of you. You have won the greattest prize of all, teamwork and a belief in a principle that you have shown by example. I will remember you.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Incredulous

      I'm not sure I could tell the difference between Glen Harvey's salute to Our Lady of Sorrows and Robert E. Lee's final speech to his army at Appomattox. But hey...everybody has their principles.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      Now if only that principle wasn't ignorant and offensive.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • OLD WAYS!

      I will remember you too. Our Lady of Sorrows...Loss. Ok now its in the record books.
      Why dont all the teams that play them get girl players...shut the program down.

      I can only imagine how this was conveyed to the boys team who had worked hard to get that hard and how the decision of their school to forfeit may tarnish their opinion of women...
      Coach: Im sry to break it to you boys. We are going to have to forfeit the championship.
      Players: Why coach why???
      Coach: The other teams dang girl wants to play and make a big deal out of it. Its just not right.
      Players: aww...stupid girl ruined our season.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joe Sixpack

    HA HA. They were just afraid to lose to a GIRL! What a bunch of sissies. If she's good enough to make the team, she's good enough to play, and if you can't handle it, grow a pair already.

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

    Paige Sultzbach're so awesome the boys are afraid to challenge you! You go girl!
    The "all boys" mentality and pony show is not disrespecting you ...they are shinning a light on how stupid they are... Keep at it're winning!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steve Smith

    Seriously? Grow a pair Our Lady of Sorrows.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • OLD WAYS!

      does anyone else think the school was aptly named.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. juljo

    Funny, I played CYO basketball on a boys team and none of the churches we played seemed to have an issue of playing with a girl on the team.

    They must be part of that secret spoiledsport sect of Catholics.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • becky, Las Vegas

      Catholics are from secret about their discrimination and this again proves it. What a sad lesson the school is teaching their kids; that men and women are not equal. Catholicism does it all the time, though. Paige should have played when on their field. Since she is legally and morally allowed to play, she should not have sat out. If I were on the Our Lady of Sorrows team as a player I would organize my team mates and whoever wanted to play, I would organize a game to be played at a neutral park, pooled money to hire officials and invited Mesa Prep. No one would have worn their uniforms but the game would have been played. Meas Prep still officially wins finishes first for the season but the game would still have been played so there would no longer be a "what if" situation.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bates

    How embarrassing.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jimi

    You think they would have worked out the 'girls have coodies' thing back in grade school

    May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. EPAB

    18th century? Try the 15th century. The Catholic Church in recent years has regressed terribly in its fundamentalist dogma. especially as it relates to women. They will pay a long term price for their behavior.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sharky


    May 11, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. slason

    Idiots as Mesa Prep. Teaching their children the beginnings of misogyny. These boys will keep women in their place. LMAO!

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