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. matt

    I agree with everyone saying this isn't right BUT if you bring up the fact boys can not play on girls teams you kind of have an argument.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      we had boys playing in our girl's Field Hockey league in HS

      May 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve Rice

      This is just another example of Right-Wing Christian Fundamentalist Chauvinism.

      And it fits perfectly with the State of Arizona – where, under Jan Brewer and her Cabal of Neo-Cons, we see a steady erosion of common decency, love and respect for our Brothers and Sisters, hatred and Xenophobia – combined with a bizarre reverence for that Twisted Nazi Border Guard Wannabe TJ Ready.

      Here it is, folks – this is what you Tea Party supporters, you Bachmann Lovers, you FOXLies followers wanted, and it’s what you’re getting. Thank GOD there are enough of us on the East and West Coasts and in the North-Central States that we can and will stop it.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jack

    They though forfeiting was better than loseing

    May 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheese Wonton

      Ding, ding, ding. Exactly!

      May 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dctwmt

    One word: Catholics.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. wendykh

    I could totally understand this if this were wrestling (and despite being a die hard bleeding heart liberal, I agree girls and boys should NOT be wrestling!) or some other contact sport but this is ridiculous.

    And there will never be such a thing as a school that offers a girls' team in a sport but not boys' in a sport boys actually want to be involved in. Get real. Synchronized swimming is the only one I can think of where that could possibly be an issue, and that's a mixed sport.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bubba

    Our Lady of Cry Me A Fricken River.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. carlsberg24

    Ahh Catlicks, what a bunch of idiots, lol!!

    May 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom

    It would appear that ignorance isn't always bliss. Sometimes it's just plain IGNORANT.

    You DONKEYS probably would have lost anyway.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dwnwthvwls

    Just overly religious people being morons again.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lizinsarasota

    I was the only girl on my college ice hockey team back in the '70s. I played all four years. Our team never played another team with a girl.
    I can say that none of the other teams ever cut me any slack for being a girl. In fact, there were always one or two or three players on the opposing team who always made it their mission to really hit me hard. I got hit and hacked, slashed and shellacked, and once, freshman year, sported two black eyes—at the same time.
    If that girl made the team, attends practices, and plays regularly, the other team had no business defaulting. The situation is analogous to all-white teams refusing to play against a team with a black player in the ‘60s—nowadays, who among us would defend a team who refused to play an opposing team with a black player on it?
    I think those boys on the other team were afraid of the very real possibility of being shown up by a girl. Too bad for them, because it’s going to happen again, and in situations when they won’t be able to slink away.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Ever do research on the number of people tortured and killed by the catholic church for teaching what the catholic church claimed to be falsehoods, things such as Earth is Spherical, Earth Orbits around the Sun, the Earth is not the Center of the Universe. Ever wonder how much further we might have progressed had the catholic church not suppressed education and learning? This is why the catholic church wishes to control education. I understand that the translation of the word taliban is religious scholar, fear the similarities.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. person

    This isn't moral courage. It's as dumb as a bowl of stones.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scott

    II feel so sorry for those boys. who's hopes were raises do high only to be dashed by the idiocy of the people in charge of their team.

    Brave? Hardly. It would have been braver to let them play DESPITE one's personal belief and put the needs of those children ahead of one's own dogmatic prove-my-point foolishness.

    Shame on them.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "SOB. I had a chance to be a champion baseball pitcher, and my coach threw it all away because he was afraid of a girl. So I went to work at the factory instead. Get me another beer."

      May 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. scaper

    Its unfortunate kids are forced to go to such close minded schools. Kids who dont get to experience everything early in life grow up to rebel and try to experience everything at once, which usually turns out poorly.
    That being said, if you try to look at this from the point of view of a Catholic, their arguement and reasoning does atleast make sense.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Allison

    So stupid. Well at least it worked out- the winners won, and the losers slinked away saying "whah whah whah".

    I was a female wrestler in HS and when men forfeited or opted out of our matches it was different- it is a full contact sport and I respected their right to say they weren't comfortable- and I did not consider myself a winner or a loser. We just decided that they did what they were comfortable with. Baseball is totally different. All the girl does is tag and catch balls. This Catholic team is going to far.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Whooaaa

    I am a Catholic, have always been and proud to be one. This story however leaves me in dismay. I find that the Lady of Sorrows Catholic school is in the wrong. If the sport regulations had some clause that forbid girls to be a on a boys team and vice versa then I can see this game not happening. Just an FYI, the majority of Catholics out there do NOT support Lady of Sorrows decision. This has nothing to do with faith in the Lord, it has everything to do with uneducated adults who make decisions on our behalf in our schools.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
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