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. pinkfloyd43

    It's was not the boy's decision, I am sure they didn't give a crap! It was someone else that made this decision! Next in line for this is legal stuff as I am sure there will be a lawyer near that jumps on this as the church is rich!!!!!

    May 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike D

    Oh Catholics, you're so funny. And by funny I mean ignorant, backwards, and useless.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wil

      The Catholics being more absurd in the name of Absurdity.....

      Raised a Catholic and practiced until just disappointed at the narrowminded behavior

      May 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike K

      Oh Mike D, you are so gay.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jimh77

    They were afraid of losing, so chose to forfeit and still look dumb. They should have just played ball.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mikeg

    The folks at "Our Lady" have no moral courage to boast about here. There may be a time and place for an all boys or all girls school environment. But we live in a world where men and women interact. Once they move out into the world these boys will have to interact with other people of all sorts. The school may have decisions to make about how "sheltered" they want to keep these boys, but one they insert themselves into the everyday world, including inter-school athletics, they take the real world as it comes. They may decide it is too challenging to play in that world, but then call it what it is – a retreat to a more comfortable environment. There is no great moral dimension they have confronted and addressed with some important conviction. I don't blame the kids, but I wonder what lesson they have been taught.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DeeNYC

    sounds about right, religious freaks still living in the past.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reasonable

      I'm religious... but I think religion is doing more harm these days then good... This is silly and teaches children that not all humans are equal... which them being religious (especially catholic where "God" is supposed to view everyone equally as "His" children) is completely ironic and just shows how ridiculous it is...

      May 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Robrob

    Their choice not to play, their choice to lose.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      I doubt it was the choice of the kids playing, but those of the adults.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      I can hear them all the way home on the bus: "Coach, we could have beaten them. Why did you do this to us?" Well boys, when you grow up you'll understand that a woman's place is in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. "My mom is a lawyer and my aunt is a doctor. I wish I was a Lutheran."

      May 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      If my kid made it to the championship game and the school wouldn't let him compete because of this. I guarantee you that my boy would be attending a new school in the fall.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fladabosco

    What in the world is wrong with the people in Arizona?

    I feel for the boys who go to a school named 'Our Lady of Sorrows.'

    May 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bible Clown©

      "What in the world is wrong with the people in Arizona?" Peer pressure.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Just Me

    I like girls and boys on the same team when it makes sense. I wouldn't support girls on many teams (like wrestling), because is just a no win scenario. Most girls just aren't physical enough to stand up to contact sports with guys, and it's unfair to the guys, because if they play the game to their skill level, they are going to hurt the girls. But baseball is a skill – no contact game and girls with the skills should be allowed the challenge. You go girl!

    May 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stratdude

    Someone please explain to me why people send their children to be educated by the most widespread and successful child molesting cult in history.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bible Clown©

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the solution is immediate large tax cuts for the super-rich, amirite?

    May 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat?

    it takes tremendous strength of character to be the only girl playing in boys ball league, you used your faith to hide from a third defeat at the hands of this team, the fact that she sat out both games against you on your field (out of respect for your outdated traditions) and still got the nod from her coach for the championship game says she was the starter at second and her undefeated squad was better with her than without .....way to duck it

    May 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pacman357

    The most telling part of the "rationale" for forfeiting the game is essentially, we are firmly rooted in our 12th century beliefs, and we believe we should be commended for our steadfastness in refusing to take into account not only how the forfeiture affected this girl, but also her teammates,as well as the fact that the rest of the world exists and operates in the 21st century. Having played many sports as a kid, including baseball, it's nice to get a "W" for the game, but it is a hollow way to win. No athlete suits up for a game, prepares him/herself mentally and physically to go out onto the field to compete, in the hopes the other team will just give them a win. Finally, I'd just like to ask...Our Lady of Sorrows? Seriously? That is the name of your school?

    May 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chesbaycruiser

    You may have problems with Catholicism or religion in general, which is fine, but to be clear, this wasn't a "Catholic" thing, this was a "school" thing. There are thousands of co-ed Catholic schools spread across the US, and have been for a LONG time.

    (BTW, you might not be a fan of Catholic schools, but statistically speaking, kids who attend them are more likely to graduate high school, attend college, graduate from college, and post a higher GPA.)

    May 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • WeDon'tMatter

      And the boys are still afraid they will get their butts kicked if they play sports games against girls.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Private schools have the priviledge of picking and choosing their students. Amazingly, they tend to pick only those students that do not have problems acedemically. Now, given this fact, what do you think happens to their graduation rate and GPA?

      May 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. brathead

    Really? Catholic schools are going to say that boys & girls should be educated separately especially in physicial education. So when they are educated separately, you have priests that molest little boys. This doesn't make sense to me. It is the 21st century people, EVERYONE should be equal now. If the girl wants to play for the boys team, I say let her. As a woman and a softball player, I would feel the same way in her shoes. HER SCHOOL DID NOT HAVE A GIRLS TEAM! That being said, the situation should work both ways and if there is a boy that wanted to play for a girls team, he should be able to as well. Don't really see that happening though. Unfortunately in today's society he would be harassed for playing on a girls team.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miguel

      I don't want you on my golf course either. Your late for work ay Walmart.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WeDon'tMatter

    Sad, sad school. Wonder how many of these well taught boys won't take a job someplace because their supervisor would have been a woman?

    May 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
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