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. sharon

    what ever to just lettin kids have fun with their friends and peers? thats what sucks about 19th century believers that a girl is only good enough for the home.enviroment

    May 11, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Furious Styles

    Let me get this right, they forfeited a "State Championship" for this??!!....LOLhahahahaha

    May 11, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. East Coast Stompin'

    Statement: You rock Paige Sultzbach!! Be proud – Be passionate.

    Question: Did the players of the opposing team come together and refuse to play or did the coaches/admin make that cowardly decision? The answer to this will tell you ALL we need to know about these muttonheads.

    Congrats to the '12 state champs MESA PREP!

    May 11, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Walter

    Ah, yes, once again religion steps in with it's archaic, bronze-age belief system. We'll be so much better off if and when humanity realizes all organized religion as the unneeded crutch that it is.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Just a simple observation, everyone is quick to bash the Catholic school for being discriminatory, but why is everyone overlooking the fact that the other school is not providing equal sporting teams for women?

    May 11, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Horus

      Actually I applaud Mesa for allowing her to play. Perhaps they cannot afford to fund a softball team, or there's not enough interest. Mesa did a great job in accomodating someone who really just wants to play the game.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • HenryMiller

      There are apparently only 283 kids, total, at Mesa Prep–probably not enough to form two separate teams. And if Ms. Sultzbach, or any young lady, can do whatever baseball players do, why should they have separate teams?

      May 11, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • noly972

      Jeff, did it ever occur to you that Mesa Prep may not have enough female students to field a ladies' softball team?

      It occurred to the author of the article who pointed out in the article that she was on the boy's team because there wasn't adequate participation for a ladies' softball team.

      Reading comprehension has really gone downhill in America.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Blue Dog

    More sorrows piling on "Our Lady of Sorrows". I mean when the name is this, what else do U expect?

    May 11, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. HenryMiller

    Religious bigotry and intolerance strike again.

    In the late eighteenth Century, religion just about faded away in Europe. Too bad it didn't fade far enough.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    My god this is the dumbest issue ever. As a catholic who went to a catholic school this has nothing to do with religion or educating boys and girls separately. The latter I get, this is not educating anything but real life. We need all eventually live and work together, this only further reinforces the notion men and women are different on ALL levels. Why the hell should we pay women or anyone the same wage as a white male if we can't even play a GAME together.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. K3Citizen

    Their priests can touch little boys but the boys can't throw baseballs to a girl. No wonder people are leaving the Catholic Church.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Horus

    Really? What year is it? What country is this again? This speaks volumes about how some view equality (or lack of). Way to promote the subjugation of women to ancient tradition. What do they think they are teaching the kids at their school? Just another reminder of why I despise religions.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. larrydavid


    May 11, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. cmh01

    They could have comprimised. Instead of playing second base the girl could have made everyone sandwiches and washed their socks. You know, womans work.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. livingston

    Arizona again. What is wrong with those people? Is it something in the water? They all seem to be broken in a very fundamental way. Are they sure they wouldn't just like to leave? I'm sure the rest of the country wouldn't mind and it would raise the country's IQ by 75 points.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • ME

      I think it's the desert living, its baking their brains.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Has nothing to do with Arizona . It's a Catholic school thing were they believe boys and girls should be separated education wise during those years. Did you actually even read the article?

      May 11, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • tired

      South Carolina or Oklahoma would take them.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. llinmpls


    May 11, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. Reality

    Looks like someone "...just got girled!" And then the Catholic church wonders why the are losing membership...! Being female does not make someone a second class citizen.... not a very good way to instill yong men with values and morals!

    May 11, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake Petrjanos


      This is not a Roman Catholic School.

      FACT is Our Lady of Sorrows Academy is a Society of St. Pius X (AKA Lefebvrians) school not a Roman Catholic School. The Society of St. Pius X is a Catholic separatist group who’s congregation believes that they are Catholic however they are not currently recognized as a Catholic organization by Rome. There are ongoing talks between Lefebvrians and the Vatican about reconciliation but those talks have caused a riff among the leadership within the Society of St. Pius X.

      The fact that CNN would fail to mention The Society of St Pius X within the article is the equivalent of leaving out the word radical in front of Muslims when describing the attacks on September 11, 2001.

      May 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
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