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. Dan Green

    I feel bad for the kids of the team that forfeited. I'm sure they wanted to play, and you can't blame the girl. I don't give credit to the team that forfeited for "sticking to their principles", because it was foolish. Once again, the foolishness of religion rears its ugly head.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SDFrankie

    The only game being played when I went to Our Lady Of His Most Precious Bloody Bloody Blood was Pin The Priest On The Altar Boy.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SDFrankie

    One time at Our Lady Of Perpetual Torture we were asked to play a team that had a black person on it. We stuck to our principles and forfeited the game. God was really happy.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Colin in Florida

    This one is SO easy, I have to make multiple comments: "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."

    Absolutely correct-makes it so much easier for the pedophile priests to identify their and stay close to their victims.


    Just like the catholic church-no social progress since the 12th Century.


    The catholic church: Keeping women second class citizens for for thousands of years.


    I think they were just afraid of losing to a girl.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Schwendler

      A big AMEN on all your statements. What a load of crap.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Contentious Otter

      I agree with all your statements.

      I also think the media is over-playing this story because Paige Sulzbach is gorgeous and they can't pass up a story where the protagonist is a beautiful teenage girl.

      May 12, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • year 1000

      Of course girls should be educated separately from boys. Everyone knows the church believes their only purpose is to be barefoot and keep popping out more Catholics.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. DB

    “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.

    Yeah...I'll give Mr. Wagner credit for saying that, but it's nonsense. Lady of Sorrows is just afraid that they'll lose. If they forfeit, they can say they lost on their own terms instead of being beaten by a girl. They're not being courageous, they're being cowards.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Was it a team of girls? No, pretty sure that was not their motivation for not playing. Read the article dimwit.

      May 12, 2012 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. David Jones

    I think that the other teams in the league should each put a girl on their teams—what a great way to eliminate an apparently skilled opponent with a weird Achilles Heel!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    “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.

    The same can be said for the muslim terrorists. Do they have tremendous moral courage or are they stupid?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. elizabeth

    It is reprehensible that a team would forfeit rather than play a team with a member to whom they object because of an immutable characteristic. If this young person were black rather than female, people would be going crazy over the discriminatory behavior perpetrated by Our Lady of Sorrows. The lack of sportsmanship demonstrated by O.L.S. is gad enough, but to layer on top of this a nasty heap of bigoted misogyny demonstrates exactly how far the Catholic Church is removed from the true meaning of Christ's ministry.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. boohoo


    May 12, 2012 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dastardly

    Unbeleiveable, that in the 21st Century so much hateful and vile Bigotry would be directed at the Church from "enlightened" people.

    May 12, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesushas2dads

      And the most hypocritical statement of the year goes to...

      May 12, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. ImmoralMe

    "Moral courage"? There's nothing moral or courageous about the idiots that made this decision. Let's just hope that at least it was the grown-ups ruining things for the kids and not the players' idea too.
    And, re David Jones comment: Brilliant idea! I hope the other teams adopt it, it would be truly inspiring to see a response like that.

    May 12, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. robert

    Bravo to her

    May 12, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tom

    This team's decision has NOTHING to do with Catholicism. I coach middle school CO-ED soccer in PA, and we have a co-ed team from a Catholic school in our league. I'm not Catholic, but I find it a shame that this school is using the Catholic Church as their scapegoat.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Everett

      You got it Tom. My 17 year old son has been playing in a statewide coed volleyball league (also in PA) for three years. All the kids are home-schoolers, most are from families with very traditional values, and many like my son are devout Catholics. Saying that coed sports is against Catholic morals is nonsense. It's people who allow their sons to participate in all-male activities in a Catholic setting who asking for trouble. This is not an accusation, by the way, it's an admission because I made this mistake with my other son. All-male athletics is a common vehicle used by child predators to gain access to boys, especially in Catholic settings, and like an idiot I let it happen to my older son. One of the biggest mistakes of my life.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Crop 1981

    I know I'm going to be pounced on for saying this, but when did boys lose the right to play with and associated with other boys without having to drag along someone's baby sister? I am fed up with this "fairness" crap where everything has to be "equal". Life is full of unfairness, get over it. Boys' baseball should be just that,, Boys. If a boy wanted to play on the girls softball team, how do suppose that would go over?

    May 12, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • junesxing

      I think you miss the point dude. Baseball is not supposed to be just a boys club to 'play' with other boys. There is a reason why the term 'player' is gender neutral. It is a sport, and to not play because one player is a girl is just an expression of misogyny, not a desire to play baseball in its 'true' form. If you want to just play with boys, I suggest you spend more time in the locker room as you won't find any girls in there ..... yet 🙂

      May 12, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      It would be fine IF there wasn't a boy's team.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. 0Patrick0

    Bit nervy to name an all boys school after the Blessed Virgin and then ban them from playing against a girl. Our Lady would be truly sorrowful at the pointless discrimination in a non-contact sport. Moreover, this has nothing to do with Catholicism whatsoever.

    May 12, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
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