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. Denise

    Some have written that she should be allowed to play only if boys are allowed to play on girls' teams. The key info here is in the second paragraph: she's on the boys' team "because her high school doesn't offer girls softball." If a boy were to attend a school where they ONLY had a girls' team for a particular sport, but not a boys' team, I would say, sure, he should be allowed to play on that team. But, that rarely happens. Typically, funding seems to go first for boys' teams. Draw your own conclusions about that one...

    May 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TCMSR

      Hi Denise, I guess you haven't read about the 13 year-old boy who played on the girls field hockey team and was told he could no longer play because he was "too good". Now here was a boy who was smaller than these girls and was told to leave. They didn't have a boys field hockey team. Talk about discrimination.

      May 14, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      Can we say discrimination, that is very unfair to all girls, don't have a team for them, let them play.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JulianAB

      TCMSR, but that is a different issue. Boys often can perform better athletically, it is a biological fact and is the same reason that testosterone enhancement is banned in all sports. So that boy was banned for possibly having an unfair advantage (whether he did or not certainly is a good question). In this case, they simply don't want to play against a girl (I guess because they think that it is ungodly or something). It is just simple discrimination. It's not like their players even have to get close to a girl (cause I guess that is gross), as baseball is not really a lot of contact.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. guy belegaud

    There is more important issues going on in this country, so keep playing this past time (base ball is not on the Olympics game list for a good reason), Catholics needs to get their act together, I would be afraid to have my sons being around a priest in a lockers room, the danger might not be on the fields with a girl on the opposite team, but closer in the locker room.

    May 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. I play baseball

    I play baseball, I'm a girl. This is like segragation kind of. Women have equal rights and that stupid school should lat girls play and not just forfeit when they see a girl. PATHETIC!!!!

    May 14, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Al

    I am hoping that Paige Sultzbach is not catching an flak over this. She has been doing her part as part of the team. All that blame all of this on religion are absolutely correct. I gave up on religion a few decades ago. For those happy with their religion...go for it! We all have the right to make our own decisions on the subject.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • JimB

      I think they were scared to get beat and used the forfeit as an excuse. Heck, the girl is cute and if I played on the Catholic team, I want to play and deliberately try to make second base to talk to her. Not now of course since I'm to damn old.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael Calaizzo

    When is being Politcallly Correct the wrong issue.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. Al

    I've only read 42 pages so far and now I wonder about what would really happen if a 'girls' league had a team with 1 boy on it. Would all the other teams play against that team? Or would they all forfeit the game to the team with just 1 boy on it? I also have to wonder if I'll find this same question on one of the pages that I haven't read yet!

    May 14, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. nig

    this is bro

    May 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ken

    "Moral courage"? More like moral stupidity.

    May 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JimB

    In my humble opinion I believe the all boys baseball team was to scared the team with the girl on it would beat their school, and that's why they refused to play. Al in all I think their reasoning for not playing is just plain dumb. We're talking baseball here not wrestling.

    May 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MK2

    The association rules are clear cut , the team forfieted and our lady of sorrows team quit. Mesa are the state champs and they should enjoy it.

    May 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. KS

    I agree with Lady of Sorrows academy. I really cannot stand feminist moms who put their daughters in mens sports and their sons in womens sports to prove a point. I understand that there is no softball at the school, and that should be addressed, but baseball is a mens sport and should stay a mens sport. Unless Arizona is a no-softball state, then there are other places she can play softball. Sorry to be "closeminded" on this.

    May 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Equality

      I bet you're a republican. You guys are well known for your "closeminded" views.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Closeminded is not the word most people would use.

      May 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      I understand your feelings, KS, and while I agree there are other places she could play softball, there's a special meaning in high school towards playing for your school as opposed to another team. It's a pride thing. Beyond that, there's quite a bit of scholarship money involved if you play on a school team. If this girl tried out and can play with the boys on an even footing, then why stop her simply because she 's a girl?

      And why is baseball a men's sport? Just because it always has been? I suggest you look up the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which existed from 1943-1954.

      May 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      @KS...I have to give you credit for admitting being close minded. In the next 10 to 30 years that problem will go away. But...admitting it to yourself is a big step. And...why do you think her mom pushed her into playing with the boys? She may have done it on her own. Girls do mature earlier than boys (and that is true).
      @Amanda...Thanks for mentioning "All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which existed from 1943-1954" which i mentioned in a previous entry...A League of Their Own. For those that don't understand why...WW II was on and the men were drafted to go to war.
      @RMinFL...I hope you do get to play with the girls/women. But believe me...they can be very passionate in their feelings for the game.

      I'm also wondering how long this stuff will go on. I think everything has been covered very well...right or wrong!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. UnFred

    Football I could understand, wrestling I could understand. But baseball?? I think they're just a bunch of Chickens. BBBBBB..Bok Bok Bok....

    May 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I think "Un" is probably the best thing to place in front of your name Fred, I started reading the responces to this story just to see what people thought about Paige playing on a men's team, and I pretty much found what I thought I would "if she can make the team, let her play" GREAT, LET HER PLAY! Here's the thing, I played baseball for three years in hightschool, I played "second base", I had my cheek bone broken one year and my leg another. It's called "Hardball" for a reason, now I looked at it as one of two things, bad luck, and it's part of the game! Now if either of these two guys had "broken up a double play" with this kid the way they did me, they would be in court along with their parents right now................................enough said!

      May 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James

    I hate how this is worded. "The Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship baseball game wasn't played Thursday night because Mesa Prep's second baseman is a girl."

    It wasn't played because the second baseman was a girl. Her being a female didn't magically stop the game from happening. The game wasn't played because the other team REFUSED to play against a team with a girl. The way this is worded seems to be blaming the victim instead of the oppressor.

    May 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RMinFL

    Then I want to play women's volleyball. There is no men's team at my school. I'll even wear the team issued spandax.

    May 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Luis

    I think the issue, Pamela is that "it's that (they believe) that a girl's place is not on a field," with boys. I this age of gender blending and confusion, I think it good someone is willing to stand up for distinction. Mesa Prep should either quit fielding a boys team or start fielding a girls team.

    May 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
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