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. Beth

    I am sad to think that we as a society are allowing our children to grow up thinking it is wrong to be play on teams where there are girls and boys. I have had the privilage of a girl who wanted to do anything the boys can, to prove girls uld be as good as they were and not afraid to get a bruise or hurt. I pray someday that people will begin teaching our children that it is ok to relax and ENJOY a game with everyone. Sportsmanship is about pride and honor no matter if you win or lose. Mesa can be commended on their sportsmanship, as well as Paige for respecting other home schools fields by not playing a game she loves and sitting to watch.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Deist

    Where else but in the most bigoted, backward State in the Union? Every time that these losers in 'Zona pull another Neanderthal stunt like this, Mississippi exhales with relief.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Priory

    Let's not forget that the Catholic church is only interested in boys. Those pedophiles behind the scenes making the decisions couldn't even imagine having a girl on the field. The name "Our Lady of Sorrows" is quite appropriate and probably accurately reflects what the Madonna feels about this. This is truly a sad day.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shane

    AZ is a dumb state......

    May 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wildone

    When reading the story to my wife I accidently called the group Our Lady of Sours instead of Our Lady of Sorrows. After she heard the rest of the story, she said I was right the first time.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sammy

    obviously none of you people play sports.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer UCD

    I think the boys were just afraid to lose face if they had lost to a team with a girl. Pathetic.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. anna

    I will never understand why girls/women have to get into mens teams?
    Play your own games and leave the boys/men to their games.

    You can be as good as the men you just dont have to play with them.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robyn

      From the second sentence in the article:
      >> Paige Sultzbach, a freshman, is playing baseball because her high school doesn't offer girls softball.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz in Seattle

      They didn't have a girls' team. What's so harmful about letting her play on the boys' team? If she is a starter, she must be pretty good.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      From the father of a daughter who played 4 seasons of ice hockey on boys teams, I can tell you that you are full of it.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • daivalin

      Read the article; her school doesn't have a softball team for girls. This doesn't even address the question of why you think a girl should be relegated to an only girls team like a second-class citizen.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howie

      At that age most girls are physically as strong or stronger than the boys, so why not let her play? I understand if there is an actual safety issue, but I think the only danger here is that the boy's egos will be bruised when they lose to a girl.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Charlie

    Afraid of losing to a girl....

    May 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robyn

    Seems pretty clear to me.
    The entire team that forfeited admitted that they could not
    compete on a level playing field against a single girl.

    I would think that parents would want to start looking
    at a school that prepares their sons so inadequately for life.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz in Seattle


      May 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • montyross

      baseball is a physical game, it has nothing to do with the fact that when they are all 22 and in the work force the young men will be smarter and be compensated better then the girl.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. relians

    bwaaahahahahaha! what a total joke! "As a Catholic school, we promote the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education,” i guess it's easier to molest them that way.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. angryersmell

    Your team are the champions, kid. No need to apologize or feel bad about it. Jesus never said anything about boys and girls not being allowed to play against each other in team sports, but I'm sure some Catholics jumping to their defense can do the mental gymnastics required to get there. They're afraid of playing against a girl, and that means they're losers. Forfeiting just made it official.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake Petrjanos


      I am Catholic and I am not jumping to Our Lady of Sorrows defense. It should be noted that this CNN article fails to mention that Our Lady of Sorrows is a Society of St. Pius X school within the article. The Society of St. Pius X is a Catholic separatist group and not recognized as a Catholic organization by the Vatican.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    We claim to be open minded, but the truth is most of us are not when others think differently than us. I respect the rights of both the young lady as well as Our Lady of Sorrow. If you think things are more open-minded where you live, I challenge you to do some homework regarding high school athletics in your state. Most high schools (not all, but most) will allow any girl to play on a boys team if there is not a girls team for that specific sport. However, most will NOT allow any boy to play on a girls team even if no boys team is availble in that sport. For example, Iowa high schools have girls volleyball and diving. There are no boys teams for these two sports. Regardless, boys are not allowed to participate. However, girls are allowed to partipate on any high school wrestling or football teeam because they do not have a girls option. Clear double-standard, and the rule not allowing boys to participate is promulgated by the Girls Athletic Union. If you think your state is different regarding boys participation, I would encourage you to check for yourself.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Objectively Moderate

    A few days ago, most people seemed to agree (based off comments and articles I read) with school board's decision to kick a boy off the field hockey team because he was "too good" but now most commenting seem to want this girl to be able to compete with boys. This has to be a consistent decision. Either girls and boys can compete together or they can't.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dlwardell

    Go Paige Go! Don't be discouraged or stopped!! You are not wrong! They have the problem and need to 'grow up!'

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