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. Mr

    Yikes. The catholic church does it again. This is a catholic school. It may not be part of the diocese of Phoenix but it is catholic. The pope has said some very ridiculous things lately. Churches are closing all across the country. The writing is onnthe wall. The catholic churchnis going down in the states.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Actually the catholic church is one of the fastest growing churches in the US as traditional protestant churches are declining. But yeah this is ridiculous and not a part of the catholic churches doctrine. This is a decision by a local priest.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • RoverDaddy

      Actually this is a 'traditionalist' splinter group that the Roman Catholic Church doesn't approve of. It's too bad this article makes no effort to point this out, and just accepts their self-description as 'Catholic' at its word.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Aezel

    Maybe the priests just weren't as interested in girls......

    May 11, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Jumbotron

      Wow, that was great! You made a joke about priests and pedophilia with boys. Man, you are hysterical. Seriously, why don't you take that cat of yours on the road and entertain the masses? It's not fair you keep that great sense of humor and insight to just us. No, you need to share it with the world, man! Quit being selfish!

      May 11, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. hardcase59

    She was a Freshman, didn't travel with the team on away games and probably rode the pine. Should've play them.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • lwk

      Did you read the article? Clearly you did not comprehend it. She sat out the away games at their field to respect their rule of not having girls on the field with boys. So yes, she DID travel with the team to away games. She chose to show respect for their inane rule. Classy girl.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Portland tony

    Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but I find thee Catholic church opposed to anything involving women in mainstream activities. They are beating up on nuns, girl scouts,and now something as innocuous as a young girl playing high school baseball. I cannot fathom the reasons behind all of this nonsense, except possibly some form of European cultural differences promulgated by the Vatican. Religion is one norms are another!

    May 11, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake Petrjanos

      Portland Tony,

      The Vatican is not affiliated with this school's teachings.

      FACT is Our Lady of Sorrows Academy is a Society of St. Pius X (AKA Lefebvrians) school not a Roman Catholic School. The Society of St. Pius X is a Catholic separatist group who’s congregation believes that they are Catholic however they are not currently recognized as a Catholic organization by Rome. There are ongoing talks between Lefebvrians and the Vatican about reconciliation but those talks have caused a riff among the leadership within the Society of St. Pius X.

      The fact that CNN would fail to mention The Society of St Pius X within the article is the equivalent of leaving out the word radical in front of Muslims when describing the attacks on September 11, 2001.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JohnM

    Forget that line about money, it's religion that is the root of all evil whether it's organized – reorganized – or unorganized – disorganized .

    May 11, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. bill

    Open carry is legal everywhere, read the bill of rights.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • noly972

      AAAWK! Wrong answer! Thanks for playing.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Skit Shivins

    I understand the Arizona Athletic Association supports the right of females to play in all sports. I wonder if it supports the right of males to play in all sports. What is fair about allowing girls to participate on boys sports teams and in effect take the place of a boy who could be playing and not allowing boys to play on girls teams?

    May 11, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Charles Levy

    This isn't about education, it's about baseball. Geez, how sad. It's also about recognizing that to get along in this world you ought to be accepting of others, and how they do things. Now that would be a nice education lesson. Acceptance.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lauren

    Too bad the Sorrowful couldn't be as respectful to Paige as she was to them.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. JJ Jukebox

    How can this Catholic school believe they've done the right thing. It's so obvious to a "normal" person that the school who forfieted the game made the wrong choice.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. larvadog

    Another example of adults getting in the way of kids having a good time and learning how to get along. I'll bet those boys wanted to play, and now they've been cheated out of their opportunity by the "adults" who run their school. Shameful. But the young lady has a lot of class, which is something some of those "adults" could use a good dose of.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    "our LADY of sorrows.......what a freekin' joke.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. DasShrubber

    In most sports this kind of behaviour would earn the coach and school a one year suspension for travesty of the game for refusing to play the game.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. SilverHair

    Likely more of a parents objection to the school. They don't want their 'men' to associate with 'women' at this tender age.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. SNAPPA

    Muslim, Catholic what's the difference, seperating men from woman seems to be the norm for both cults. There is something really wrong in Arizona there has simply been too much wierd stuff going on there. I am no conspiracy nut but If I didn't know better I'd swear the government was experimenting with the people by putting somthing in their water.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • SilverHair

      I live there for almost 3 years. IT IS THE WATER!

      May 11, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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