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. Deist

    The guys who would not play a baseball game against this girl are really the ones without any BALLS.

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

    It's not about Catholics or Jews or Muslim or any other religion for that matter. It's about believing what you believe is right for you. So if you don't think it's right, you shouldn't be a hypocrite and force your opinions on others. As for this case here, I totally agree with their decision. She's a girl playing on a boys baseball team. Let me repeat that, this girl is playing on a BOYS baseball team. Let me repeat that again for all of you knuckle heads, SHE is playing on a BOYS baseball team. AND if other BOYS don't want to play against a GIRL, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

    IF a boy wanted to play on YOUR GIRLS [pick any sport you like]... how would you respond. DON'T BE A HYPOCRITE AND SAY "Well that's different".. NO IT ISN'T. This article says that baseball isn't a contact sport, this and that. It doesn't matter if it is or not. This article also says MESA Prep worked hard and now that they didn't actually play the finals that their Championship is tainted. Well look at it from the other schools perspective. IF they had won, don't you think they would also feel that this Championship is tainted because they didn't play an all boys team?

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

    As a Catholic school, we promote the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years

    Wow, I had to make sure that I wasn't reading a comment from some authoritarian Islamic regime.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rosie

    Reminds me of the South park episode where the kids went to the finals in baseball, all while trying to lose. This is great. Girls can play just about any sport that guys can and baseball is no exception. If she can hit and catch why not let her play. If the other team are such babies they should be banned from the league altogether.

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

      While I admit baseball isn't the biggest problem it does raise an interesting question. I was raised that I should never hit a girl. What happens if a girl wants to wrestle, or perhaps play football. Is it right or fair if a 250lb linebacker gives a really big hit to a smaller girl? This does start to cross into a much more grey area.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • cptdondo

      Exactly. I have a daughter who can challenge most boys physically – last year there were only 2 boys in her grade who could beat her at arm wrestling. Stuff like this is stupid and deprives the boys of a chance to compete. My daughter has played co-ed water polo; that's one heck of a physical sport, and no one cares if you're a girl or a boy. All is fair where the ref can't see. If a team pulled out because the other team had girls they'd be laughed out of the pool. More likely they did not want to be beaten by a girl. Their poor fragile world view can't accept that girls can be as good as boys at sports – sometimes better.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Deist

    Just like the Catholic Church allowed Priests to marry until the 11th Century, maybe it is time to review this sorry "guideline."

    May 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "Catholic Church allowed Priests to marry until the 11th Century, maybe it is time to review " If every Catholic school felt this way, I'd say you are right. But they don't all do this. Time to get a new coach for Our Lady of Cry Me A River.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wcb2001

    She could have just given each player on the other team a cooty shot before the game started. Geesh!

    May 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tony

    "As a Catholic school, we promote the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education,”

    That's why they only let priests molest boys.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clay

      The Catholic Church really should be branded as a cult.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ted Wu, Los Angeles

    Religion kills. Religion(at least one of them) facilitates child molestation.Now religion creates problems in school sport. Isn't it time to get rid of this malice once for all?

    May 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Nice example of generalization....does bigotry flow through your entire belief system and you just cherry pick where to apply it or does your bigotry affect all aspects of your life?

      May 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Observer

    The aptly named Our Lady of Sorrows Academy got credit for the loss that they so richly deserved.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sandy

    I would put money on it, that if the coach had no say in it they would have played I GUARANTEE IT!!!!

    May 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tbungahead

    My sisters could outplay every boy in the neighborhood. They always got picked first when choosing teams. I doubt if Paige would have been put on the team if she couldn't play.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nick

    Why does everyone feel that this was the call of the Catholic Church? Just because this school was Catholic, it doesn't mean this is representative of the teachings of the Church. It is sad and frustrating to look at all of the blanket statements, when anything having to do with a Catholic occurs. That being said, I think this is ridiculous. As a Catholic, I feel the team should have played.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pawpower1995

    A lot of you blame Religion. The ones you should blame is humans. We seem to screw everything up!

    May 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      well said.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Ummmm....religion was created by humans so yes I will blame religion!!!!

      May 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. What?

    What rubish! There is nothing in Catholic doctorine that suggest that boys and girls must be educated separately or that boys and girls can't play sports together. How dare they hide their provincial, out-dated world view behind catholic doctorine.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. john

    that's just stupid...but hey...It's Arizona.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
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