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. tak fuji

    Dinosaur Jesus strikes again!!

    May 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "Dinosaur Jesus strikes again!!" RAWR

      May 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Amy

    Kudos to Mesa Prep for creating an equal opportunity for boys and girls alike. We need more schools that allow students of both genders to play in the sports that are their passions ...

    May 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bruce

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

    Yes, must make sure the priests know who the boys are.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. citigrp1

    Hay! If she can make the team, she should be able to play.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      May 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      HAY?! lol If your a girl you just set the female race back 100 years

      May 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      While you do have a point, so does the post right below yours. Equal rights is one thing, but there is no questioning of human nature. Young men simply possess more testosterone, and that's why you'll never see girls/women on a college or professional man's sport. Believe me, I have coached baseball for 25 years. I'd be glad to take a girl if she was good enough, and she may be skillwise, but the boys will pass her by strengthwise every time, by the age of 14 or so.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      The school should be ashamed they dont offer a girls team. That said, if its not categorized as a "co-ed" team, then it really needs to be one or the other.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rain

      Russ, you sound really ignorant right now. How could you be a basketball coach & have never heard of Ann Meyers? First woman to ever sign a contract with the NBA the Pacers to be exact. First woman to get a four year athletic scholarship to UCLA and now she's the manager of the WNBA team in Phoenix and the Vice President of the Phoenix Suns.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andy Daniel

    I'm not sure I see their decision as "courageous". They stood by their convictions, and, though I'm not Catholic, I don't know of any prohibition in Catholicism of playing on a mixed team. In full-contact sports like wresting, I can understand why some people may voice religious objections, but a ban on mixed baseball seems kind of made up. They may feel like they stood up for their convictions, but they saw no problem in cheating the other team out of a shot at a legitimate championship victory.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ceramicbisque

      EXACTLY- they were cowards as they didnt want to be beaten by the other team with a girl on it, they DELIBERATELY tried to mar the championship (who knows IF that other team WOULD have gotten it...) and it's pathetic that the school is religion based- How Embarrassing! Yeah, that's the Christian thing to do- DISCRIMINATE. It is HOGWASH about "beliefs" as there's nothing in the doctrine about sports. Disgusting.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. woodofpine

    'Our Lady of Sorrows' is a boy's school??

    Maybe it should be called 'Our Lady of Perpetual Inequity'!

    May 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. citigrp1

    If anyone should be mad it should be the players on the other team for not having the chance to play for a state championship because of BONEHEADED Adults. The game was for the kids to compete

    May 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ron

    Way to go Paige,at least you got the trophy...Thanks for ruining it for everyone.........Everytime politically correct people try to mix the two genders this thing happens...It was so much better in the stone age!

    May 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • JWT

      Paige didn't ruin anything. Some really dumb adults from the forfeiting school did that all by themselves.

      May 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike fromCalgary

    Seems fitting or ironic does it not that "Our LADY of Sorrows" will not allow females to participate.

    Perhaps the school should be renamed to distance itself from all females includng "OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL DISCRIMINATION". I am sure that there is more to the story that meets the eye, but the optics are terrible.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. guest

    Maybe the game was just postponed. You know: "Catholic girls start much too late".

    May 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mychele

      More like Catholic school administrators evolve much too late!! What balderdash!
      This was not courage of conviction – this was cowardice and a poor demonstration of sportsmanship if there ever was one.

      As for boys being stronger as a blanket statement, it's totally illogical. Girls have the ability to demonstrate both strength and agility. We have muscles, we have weightifters & bodybuilders & triathletes. Evolve boys!

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

    My school used to compete against a catholic high school... a COED catholic high school. They'd have had no problem with this. For those of you talking about girls and their strength, etc... cut the crap. She made it ON HER OWN, was a second baseman, and helped her team win every single game, all the way to state. Girls have done just fine playing football with the guys, and in many other areas as well. I'd like to see you try cycling up the highest paved road in N. America with me... see how "tough" you are then! This is less than a year after I went over a cliff, with multiple spinal fractures, even! We don't need to be coddled!

    May 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircaRigel

      I meant no problem competing with a girl on the opposing team.

      May 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Pope

    BRING ON THE INQUISITION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How can they possibly have a GIRL playing second base. That goes against ALL of God's laws. Don't they know that she should be playing SHORTSTOP???????????????

    May 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Matthew Graczyk

    This screams of adults pushing an agenda to the detriment of kids. Kids on both teams in this case. Let her play.

    May 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rojobull

    Congrads to Mesa Prep

    May 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. woogiesmom

    What a crock of baloney....

    May 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
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