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. HB Dude

    Girls should play on boy's teams just as soon as boys are allowed to play on girl's team. I think most guys would love to play field hockey. If women want equality then ALL sports should be co-ed and let the best athlete win. Period.

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

    Would not play – no problem band them from ALL sports forever until they do...No state funded either.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. barbara451

    thank you catholics for another public reason to doubt the validity of your existence

    May 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. holdem

    What's the problem? At least guys can say they got to 2nd base with her.

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

      Foolish and lacking in mature thinking beyond comprehensive thought.

      The forfeiting school are truly losers. They have lost their ability to learn and lead.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unplugged

      holdem – And for a Catholic boys school, that's saying quite a lot.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      True, but I hear she throws out anyone who tries for third.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • thomas

      solid joke

      May 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      You need to supply kleenex with your jokes. I read this while at the office and couldn't laugh out loud, so I kinda snorted. Since I'm recovering from a cold, it wasn't pretty! Nice one my friend.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      or outta there!

      May 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. B

    There are girls sports teams and there are boys sports teams. This girl should not be allowed to play on the boys baseball team. For those posting here saying she should be allowed to play, why not have 10 boys on the women's field hockey team? Or better yet, lets put some guys on the womens basketball team. Equality goes both ways, correct?

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

      No, you don't seem to be able to understand that this was a co-ed team. This was not "a boys team", you dummy.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Umm no. Boys are stronger and faster than girls. Which translates into better performance in most sports. So boys on a girls team would be an unfair advantage. Plus the article states the school does not offer a softball team, so what's a girl to do?

      May 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      To punish your own team by forfeiting the game is a childish overreaction. Your opponent can field anyone they's up to you to prepare your team to play the game. You have no control over your opponent's roster.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • nuntukamen

      Interesting points, but void of why she was playing in the first place. And, yes, if there were no boys team, and a girl's team made the choice to allow the only boy basketball player to play, you would be correct that it goes both ways and that player should be given opportunity. This isn't earth shattering change.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ugh

      She is obviously too talented to play against most female ball players. Baseball is very different than softball. The reasons are plentyful. In your world euality is only equal if it still benefits you. Have you come to grips with women voting yet? Just sayin'.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • brathead

      Had you read the article, she was playing because they did not have a girls softball team. Had her school had that, I'm sure she would have played on that team instead.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve Mecca

    Makes perfect sense to me. Why would you let your boys play baseball against a girl and run the risk of catching cooties.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Unplugged

    I find it VERY difficult to understand that the other team "sat out" the girl when they played on the Catholic field out of "respect." Would they have done the same if the Catholic team had an issue with Black people?

    Mesa Prep should be ashamed for allowing such blatant bigotry to occur.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lew

    Those boys were more concerned abut looking for kudos from their church leaders to make them feel proud of themselves. As if they are some sort of 'brave strong men' or something. They really come off as looking like naive children that can't think for themselves.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marc

    This article may just be the stupidist thing I've heard all year.

    And considering this is an election year, that's saying something.

    Somehow, I'm fairly certain that it wasn't the kids that made this dicision. You just don't get THAT stupid at 14. It takes years of practice to develop that level of ignorance.

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

    You can bet your boots that the players had no say in forfeiting the game. It was the teachers and administrators imposing their values on children who, in the long run, suffered for it by not being able to play the game.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. George Marshall

    The Arizona Athletic Charter Association...what a bunch of primitives! How much bad publicity can Arizona stand?

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

    I do not see a problem with them playing against a girl in a non-contact sport. She is on the team simply because they do not have a girls version. Have some flexiblilty. I have seen girls on wrestling teams against boys, which for obvious reasons, should not take place. This is not one of those times.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mickey1313

    CU used to have a female kicker, no problem. They are kids and at that age there is no physical advantages. To the comment about field hockey, that is contact sports, big difference.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • B

      Tennis is not a contact sport. Are you saying a highly ranked girl junior tennis player that can beat most boys her age should be allowed to play on the boys tennis team if there is no girls team?

      This is ludacris....I'm all for womens rights and equality but im just saying baseball is a boys sport just as softball is a girls sport.

      Would it be okay for a scrawny/slow boy to play on a field hockey team since he wouldnt have a physical advantage? Where do you draw the line??

      May 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "Where do you draw the line??" Spud Webb is where I draw it. He was a short guy who walked all over the tall basketball players. Fat Babe Ruth was the best hitter of all time, arguably. Talent always wins.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ComSenseWiz

    Gotta side with the girl on this one. She earned the starting slot at second on a state championship caliber team. Test her with a wide slide into second or maybe some chin music at the plate. If she passes and her team wins, tip your cap and lose like a man with class.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. myklohhh

    In Oregon, there are girls on some highschool wrestling, and football teams. Are they afraid of getting girl cooties?
    Second baseman, should be renamed to Second baseperson.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
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