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. yup

    Wow, they should have played the game, the kids on the team that let it go have just learned a very bad lesson. Just because you dont like what you see or the fear the girl might get hurt was a complete copout, you walked away from a challenge and the fight to be #1.....your coach and school are a bunch of lost your honor. Good luck in life with this mindset.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. scottkritterim

    Our lady of sorrows should be banned from the league! I can't even believe the league didn't exert some pressure. Our lady of sorrowful choices should not be allowed in any league. This is coming from a catholic that went k-7 to catholic school. Utterly ridiculous! You rock Paige!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Our lady of sorrows! Is a sorrow school all right running their concepts.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    Religeous nutjobs teaching the young at an early age to discriminate. Not surprising..

    May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • drowlord

      Yep. More of the same.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fred

    My uncle is pulling his kids out of this so called school. What an embarrasing issue. The head should be fired along with the director of sports............what a shame.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. Horus

    Mesa was undefeated and they played Our Lady Blah Blah Blah twice (which means they beat them twice already). Sounds to me like an excuse because they'd rather be able to claim some perceived moral high-ground, then to actually play the game and lose for a third time; with the added insult of having lost to a team with a girl. What a bunch of crybabies.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. beat by a girl

    Another religious organization behaving like their from the stone age. Congratulations Our Lady of Sorrow, you're truely sad!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. ttocsmij

    I cannot comment as to the Catholic Bible (as I know they've edited portions of it to suit) but my KJV and NIV Bibles fail to mention any requirements about high school (or Little League for that matter) baseball being for boys only. I suspect Jesus' response wold have been something along the lines of, "Cool! Want me to umpire?" (with a big grin on his face)!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Rugbyrabbit


      May 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Al

    What a bunch of cry babies! They must have figured out that they didn't stand a chance of winning since the other team had girl at 2nd base. There were more girls than boys on the street I grew up on and we games with them...including tackle football. Teams were mixed girls and boys. Guess we were ahead of the times. Those from Our Lady of Sorrows Academy should probably stop playing any sport. But, of course, all other competing schools just need to put a girl on their team and walk away with a FREE WIN !!!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. DrewNumberTwo

    "Tremendous moral courage"? LOL?

    May 11, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    Pure Bigotry.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Neeneko

    It is amazing how often people try to portray their weakness as moral courage..... this isn't moral courage, it is scared people acting out and hoping that the girl will get blamed for their loss... because every time this happens it is usually the outsider who gets the blame for 'ruining the boys fun'.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Duane

    Our country is full of prudes. It is a non contact sport, and this is a land of equality. It sounds like the parents made a choice for these teens and it will come back to bite them.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    Sadly, there is nothing surprising about the Catholic church still clinging to 16th century mentality on this issue or any of the other multiple issues regarding women.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. the real quesiton

    The real problem here is that a school can be so poor athletically, that they have a female starting in a male sport.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • CR from CA

      We had a young lady playing on our rep team and we went to the championships. Your comment is about as stupid as the other school's decision not to play because there is a girl on a team. Where in the Bible does it say no co-ed baseball. Yet more evidence that religion is the most ridiculous invention of all time.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • The real answer

      Did you miss the part where the team was undefeated, or the part where they were playing in the championship finals?

      Clearly this team is the best of their league, and she was able to qualify and play for the team. Good for her!

      May 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Stu

      Hard to believe that in today's society that people actually still have these beliefs. Although the story stated that she's playing baseball because the school doesn't offer girl's softball, clearly she had to have enough talent to make the team. The team that opted to forfeit should be thrown out of the league because of stupid decisions that adults you think one player on the forfeiting team would've been on board with the way. The kids clearly would've played whether the opposing team was made up of guys, girls or martians. STUPID, plain and simple.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • tngram

      Give me a break! athletically poor? To think that she only got the position on the team because of that is truely an idiotic way of thinking. There are plenty of girls/women who are better than boys/men. Get over it!

      May 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      The problem here is that you think being male somehow makes you physically superior to a female. Troglodyte !

      May 11, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      The real problem here is the Catholic point of view.They are teaching the boys women are inferior with no right to even be on the same playing field as boys.G@#$dmn Catholics.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      No, Catholic medieval mentality is the problem.How can teaching these kids Men and Women are not equals positive in any way????

      May 11, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Keith Dallmer

    If the Catholic school cant play against a school with female team members, then they should be booted form the orginzation.. If thier policy goes against the majarity , they dont belong.. They should just leave..thats moral courage....

    May 11, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith Dallmer

      I bet the playeres where not too please the " Adults" made that decision for them!

      May 11, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda 14

      They did ask before the season started and the answer was no. The girl came on mid-season.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Cranston Snord

      Except that Mesa and all schools agreed that no teams would be mixed gender at the beginning of the season. Mesa caved in to their reality to accommodate this girl – OK fine. Our Lady's didn't cave to their committment not to mix genders in sports. Their views are different than yours so that makes them inferior dummies? Wow. I don't disrespect you because you don't spell and appear to be barely literate.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
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