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. JA

    Ahh are ever a source of amusement when you're not being scary.

    May 12, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. 0Patrick0

    Maybe that's why Catholic school boys seldom get to second base.

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

      LoL. And why the rest of us did with the Catholic girls.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pete

    Being a volunteer that taught both boys and girls equally in the sport of baseball and football,its totally in reverse the teachings I instilled in these kids.That games like these are for fun,not blood,not everyone is equally talented in said sport, give respect to everyone,give and you shall recieve and politeness is key,to teammates and opponents alike.No one should be held responsible for this games fortunes,let's just hear" PLAY BALL" and put such pettyness aside,enjoy our kids youth,it won't be around forever,I assure you!!!And become involved,it never hurt anyone!!!!

    May 12, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. anthony

    Baseball is for men. Knitting is for women. Congrats to OLS for putting their standards first...and also for a guaranteed VICTORY (if they had played).

    May 12, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Googs1984

      Anthony what the catholic school did was nothing more than cowardice. Standing up for what you believe in is one thing but the reasoning holds no weight in today's society. I applaud the fact that this young lady worked hard enough to play and help her team to a championship. In all Anthony move out of your moms basement and try real real hard to be a good boy. TOOL!

      May 12, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Since Mesa played them twice during the regular season, without their starting second baseman, and beat them both times, and as a visiting team at that, odds are that OLS would have lost again in the championship. More likely they just didn't wan to lose to a gurl!

      May 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TommyTee

      I think OLS is full of you know what and so are base there lack of participation because a girl is playing, that's pathetic! Your line of thinking is on par with the Taliban...meat head!

      May 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • dick delson

      They won't play baseball against her, but they will boff her in a second. Wake up dummies...

      May 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I AGREE

      May 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • simon

      The 19th Century is over. Wake up!

      May 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      You are an idiot. Plenty of men are good at domestic things like knitting and plenty of women are AMAZING at all types of sports.

      May 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley - North Carolina

      Hello . . . Mitt . . . is that you?

      May 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      I never knitted but did do some crocheting. Wasn't good at sports, with 1 exception...Chess. I know you are thinking it is just a game, but it has always been a sport. Nothing physical involved (except moving a piece to another square) but will really test your brain. If played without a timer, a game could go on for days. I don't care much for the new notation but will never forget the original notation.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David

    Add this to the long list of strange things appending in Arizona. Arizona is becoming more backward than Mississippi.

    May 12, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. richbrunelle

    Of all the stupid things. Before all else be it religion, politics, or stupidity these are not private ball clubs, major league sports, or an independent society. This is high school sports. Which sometimes you have to bend the rules a little bit to accommodate the students. The Catholic School demonstrated a failure to cooperate within the school system and play the games fairly. The Catholic School may be able to regulate who plays on their team, but not the opposing teams.

    If the Catholic School wants to participate in playing the game against others in the school district then they have to accept the teams provided to play against them or get out of the game.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe800

      ..while I believe, FIRMLY, in the separation of church and state... the catholic schoo in this story did exactly what you suggested, they got out of the if we could get them to pay taxes, that'd be even better....

      May 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michelle Scott

    just one more way that my church show how out of touch it is with the people. Even with it's own followers!!
    Shame on them!! You go girl!!!

    May 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. adrian

    Went to a Catholic High School, played Co-ed soccer against other Catholic co-ed High Schools. That was definitely a contact sport and never had anyone forfeit on such a BS macho headgame.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TommyTee

    What a crock! In most minor league sports, public, city or school, when a team refuses to play there are penalties placed against the dissenting team. I think in this case it should be applied. If they want to play in a league they should follow the rules. It is an absolute disgrace what they did. This is the dark side of religious schools...kind of makes me think of the taliban.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Just In

    Our Lady Of Sorrows Academy will only bring sorrow to ladies if they keep this pathetic mind. Would of really hurt if they lost to a girl. Would of changed their name to Little Boys of Sorrow.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JustBeNice

    Christopher Hitchens is quite correct: religion ruins everything.

    May 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rixar13

    ""I respect their views, but it's a bit out of the 18th century," Amy Arnold, Mesa Prep's athletic director, told the Republic."
    So much for moving forward...?

    May 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rixar13

    "I respect their views, but it's a bit out of the 18th century," Amy Arnold, Mesa Prep's athletic director, told the Republic."

    So much for leaving the caves....?

    May 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Skeptic

    If the other schools in OLS's division are smart, they'll all add a girl next season 🙂

    May 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. maestra730

    I'm a female and the mother of both a teenage son and a teenage daughter. I have also taught junior high in the public school system for almost twenty years. Paige Sultzbach should play sports with other girls and leave the boys' teams alone. She can join leagues outside her own school, just like thousands of Little League boys and other children do. And to her mother: Seriously, what is wrong with you??? Do you really want your daughter sitting in that dugout, the lone girl among all those teenage boys? Very odd, not to mention pushy and inappropriate. And no, I do not believe "women should stay barefoot and pregnant," yadda, yadda, yadda. Just leave the boys alone for God's sake, and stop trying to bulldoze your way in where you're not wanted.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnBaseball

      I'd like to say, I'm pretty sure she wanted to play baseball. Even if it was because her school didn't offer softball, that doesn't mean she didn't want to play. Personally, I think everyone needs to get their heads out of their asses. If she wants to play, by all means, let her play! It really isn't a hard concept to comprehend.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Wrong!!! I've played golf with women and actually learned from them. Of course they had many more years of experience than I do (didn't start until I was in my 40's). They had no problem with me joining them and on other occasions, 1 of them would join 3 of us men!

      May 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
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