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. gatecrasher1

    They were disappointed to hear that she was playing second base. They had thought they were going to GET to second base with her.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Donovan M.

    Once again, religion promoting inequality and discrimination. Typical religious bigotry

    May 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ron alston

    @paul + @DJL, I see, now, that you are officially a PART of the problem. OMGosh, your reasoning methods and justifications are straight out of an "All in the Family" script. Yikes. I guess you've never heard (or would ever respectfully use) the term, "congresswoman," huh? Luckily, you are in the minority, because it's grumpy chauvinists like you who slow down universal equalities – both, minor and major. Come... come out of your man caves, just for a spell... it won't hurt.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Sounds about right for the Catholics, keep the boys segregated so the pedophile priests can have first try at them.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      You're funny so Dave. Hey everyone, this Dave character's got jokes! Get a life and make a mature comment on something you're not ignorant about next time.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spike3G

      @Dave – your comment shows the level of maturity/intellegence you have...

      May 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobTBuilder

      AJ and Spike are both pedophiles. The catholic church is a f'ing joke. Go back to your closet child rapings.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobTBuilder

      Soon it will be a safe assumption: If you are catholic there a good chance that you molest children. It appears to be the message they are spreading.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      I will never forget Catholic elementary school. "Girls to the left and boys to the right". In the classroom. In church. They even had separate schoolyards!

      This was in the 50s, of course, and I don't think it is that bad today, but I will tell you that when these boys and girls reached high school many were completely freaked out when it was time to mix.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobTBuilder

      Soon it will be a safe assumption: If you are catholic there is a good chance that you molest children. It is the message they are spreading and everyone who goes to a catholic church supports them.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. willie james

    This church needs to pack up and move to Afghanistan. This country does not need backassward churchers.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Populationboy

    The kids on both teams were hurt by this rediculous decision.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • GrammarPolice


      May 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cw

    I used to coach middle-and high-school wrestling and a couple of times had a girl who wanted to wrestle. We saw the same thing when wrestling against catholic schools (i.e. matches forfeited). Granted, co-ed wrestling (during which you'll be getting rather close to your opponent, albeit in an attempt to physically dominate / pin them) might be awkward for pre-teens, but I still think it's totally ludicrous for a baseball team to forfeit for the same reason. Time to grow up and enter the 20th century (if they do well, they can keep growing and join the 21st).

    May 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wishbone

    Religion poisons everything.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Clayton

    Personally, I disagree with the Catholic team but I respect them for standing up for their position. No harm came to the girl or to her team. They won the championship. The Catholic team took a loss.

    Baseball and other non-contact sports like basketball should let boys and girls play together if they have the skills. That is my opinion though. Apparently, others have different opinions and since they were willing to take a loss instead of violating their principles, then I can only show them respect.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bet

      The KKK stands by their beliefs, too. Do you respect them as well?

      May 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Guest

    How ridiculous. Saving themselves for the priest, anyway.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dana

    So the best responses here are all whining. whining and telling everyone else to grow up. How I love irony.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sean

    HAHAHAHAHA... I thought I was going to make it thru at least one comment section today without hearing Obama's name mentioned.
    Now why the hell did I think that?

    May 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BobTBuilder

    Obviously the catholic school wouldn't play a team with girls. They only like to molest little boys.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. FactChecker

    If the Catholic schools want different rules, they shouldn't participate in the league. So they are backware AND inconsiderate.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • FactChecker


      May 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GrammarPolice


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