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. juskishifatu

    so a young boy can't play on a girls' lacrosse team because he's "too good" (even though he's younger, shorter and not as strong as most of the girls) to play on their team yet this girl can play on a boys' baseball team? yep, no double standard there.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • elb1999

      the boy you reference is the exception tothe general rule. Most boys a year or two younger than girls are still more athletically advanced, i.e. stronger, faster, etc. Therefore even if they are younger they are still considered to be "playing down", which is not allowed. because girls at or around the same age in general are not as strong and fast as boys, are considered to be "playing up", when playing with boys, which is acceptable

      May 11, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Fair?

    For your information just because there is a girls volleyball team does not mean there is a boys volleyball team.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dee

    I'll tell you why, because some parent caused a stink to get their daughter on the boys team and vica versa. It is not the schools fault. Parents are a pain in the bum!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. springthecat

    They have no girls team at that school. There is only one team if you want to play baseball there.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • OKC

      There may not be enough girls to field a "girls" team in a private school.
      I really don't see the point in this one. Baseball/softball are the sports I beleive girls can/are able to compete. I coached a girl on my sons 13 – 14 yo baseball team and she was the best fielder I have ever seen at that age, average bat and week arm...... a lot like a bunch of the guys. She was treated as a ball player most of the time on the field.....and being very pretty she was popular off the field....... and had a whole bunch of brothers and 1 or 2 boyfreinds

      May 11, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. O

    Tremendous moral courage? Since when is treating women as "less-than" MORAL? What an IGNORANT and STUPID Headmaster. And what a bunch of cowards – yeah, YOU – you backwards baffoons who refuse to play baseball with a girl.

    I call it courageous to stand up for women in the face of all men who hate them, demean them, and refuse to play a sport with them. I call it courageous to stand up for EQUALITY instead of petty so-called morality that promotes prejudice and bigotry.

    I think we need to send in Buffy the Vampire Slayer to kick some butt at that boys-are-holier-than-girls catholic school. That school wouldn't even have a student body if it weren't for women.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      you are wasting your breath, you will never convince them that their viewpoint is outdated and bizarre.

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

      It is their right.................there is no need for the name calling, it certainly doesn't help your point of view.
      Do as I say or you're a *^%&$ and %$#^& isn't the way to debate.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Marc in Florida

    Our Lady of Sorrows accademy is sorrowful! Congratulations to Mesa on their victory, you've missed nothing; you won, simple as that..

    May 11, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. TomGI

    Seems to me Mesa Prep athletes were afraid to face the shame if they lost. The better team are the Champs!

    May 11, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • TomGI

      Correction – Our Lady of Sorrows Academy athletes were afraid to face the shame if they lost.

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

      Tom, read the article again. Mesa was the team that was willing to play. Not the other way around.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Tom, thanks for the correction.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |

      Mesa Prep was undefeated which means Our Lady of Sorrows lost to them twice before. So, I hardly think they refused to play out of the sense of shame of losing again.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. babs

    Its' what Mittens would do.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. lk10034

    Be realistic, JOSE0311USMC, and stop shouting !

    May 11, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bob K

    Sounds like "The Lady of Sorry" the damn game.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Merkat

    A win is a freaking win, even by forfeit. Great strategy, Mesa.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. LindleyF

    There are some sports where gender separation makes sense. Wrestling, perhaps.

    But baseball? Who cares?

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

    As it was mentioned in the article – it's not a contact sport. Immature behavior on the part of the forfeiting team. Get over it.

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

    I don't buy the argument by the Catholic school. They agreed to enter the tournament and they knew, or should have known, that Mesa had a girl on the roster.

    It may be church law or school law to educate the children in separately. However, it is God's law to love your neighbor and agreeing to play (by entering the tournament) and then breaking that agreement is clearly failing to love your neighbors.

    The Vatican has been quite clear that God's law supercedes church law (which would supercede school law). By their own rules, they should have played the game.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. GoUs

    Never change, arizona. never change.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
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