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. NoTea4Me

    I'm disappointed she chose to sit out the previous games on their filed. It's not her problem their involved with a Taliban like religion. I hope she plays to her fullest capacity and never sits out in the future.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. whatsfair

    Where were the complaints when our field hockey team wasn't allowed to play in the state playoffs becasue they had 2 boys on the team? Our county doesn't have boys field hockey.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. The Left Wing

    They should change their name to The Academy of Sorry Men.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. batman

    It is more likely than not that the Lady of Sorrows team was afraid to lose with a girl on the opposition. The male egoes could just not handle it. (Nanny nanny poo poo you lost to a girl. What losers you are.) Besides, as best I have learned priests only like to play boys teams.

    May 11, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Carlos

    Insane. I went to catholic grade school and high school in the 70's and 80's and they would never have pulled a stunt like this. We had coed sports, and that was quite a few years ago. Hard to believe that this happened at all, let alone today. They must have a nut job principal or live a really backward parrish!

    May 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom tom

      Its arizona, what do you expect?

      May 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • nate

      This school may call itself Catholic but is ran by the "Society of St. Pius X" which is ran by a splinter group not even recognized by the Church. Misleading of CNN to leave that part out.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Unit34AHunter

    "Our Lady of Sorrows" should be renamed "Our Lady of Abject Stupidity." It takes "moral courage" to defend bigotry? I don't think so.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • HB Dude

      Bigotry is having separate sports for boys and girls. I thought we did away with separate but equal. If girls can compete, I say let them but let's do it in ALL sports and not just selectively.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. no nothing

    It seems that most religions are stuck in some century that time and the rest of the coherent world has left behind.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. whatsfair

    Where were the complaints when our field hockey team couldn't play in the state playoffs with the 2 boys that been part of the team? Our state doesn't offer boys filed hockey.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. akduck1

    The writer of this article left out the most important point. Sounds like one of the two teams won both of the prior meetings. Which one? If it's Mesa, then no harm done. Mesa is champions. If it was the sorrowful ladies, then I feel sorrow for them and contempt for their bone-headed leadership.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikes

      It said Mesa was undefeated so they clearly already laid the smack down on the sorrowful ladies

      May 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Evan

    It's Lebron's fault

    May 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keg

      Don't you mean "Obama's fault" "cause everything is HIS fault! HA

      May 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nate

    Not mention this schools association with the Society of "St." Pius X and not a part of the Catholic Church is more then a bit missleading CNN. Even HuffPo put bit of information in their article.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Patrick

    What is "moral courage"? Is courage typically immoral?

    May 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. the_dude

    Pulling out is usually the right thing to do. It is a lose – lose situation for the other team. if they win they beat a girl and if they lose they lost to a girl. Neither situation will be good best to just pull out.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keg

      dude, do you have even the smallest measure of education???

      May 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    It would be awesome of the guys on the team at Our Lady of Sorrows called up the guys and girl on the Mesa Prep team and scheduled an unofficial game...

    May 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nana

    We are supposed to live in "The Land of Opportunity", why should this girl have been punished by a "narrow-minded" group? If she was good enough to play that should have been the end of it. The opposing team definitely needs to come into this century and stop imposing their beliefs on everybody else. If they can pick and choose who they play what does that teach their kids anyway. Maybe not allowing the school to compete next season would change their mind.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
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