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. i_know_everything

    closet case

    May 11, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dennis F

    So they (the forfeiting team) had already lost to Paige's team twice this season without Paige girl playing!

    Sounds like they just wanted an excuse not to play them again.

    Paige's team has nothing to be ashamed of.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Whome

    Nice to see that there are still people in this country that will stand up for their beliefs.

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

      You mean its nice to see there are IDIOTS in this country.... Plain and simple, this is just stupid. I have no tolerance at all for utter stupidity. This is as moronic as people in NC who voted for the recent amendment. I do not respect your beliefs.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • mabear87

      Sounds ike the Taliban and Islam not wanting to include women. It is just another fear from men that women will prove themselves to be better than men and therefore, the need to shut women out. My daughter was not allowed to play water polo on the boys team in high school (there was no girls team), yet she was a better swimmer and more aggressive than many of the boys. 19th Century discrimination is alive and well in Catholic schools in particular and Arizona in general.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. bertilack

    The "statement" from Our Lady of Sorrows appears the silliest piece of B.S. I may have ever read. The presence of a girl on a baseball field - on the other team - does nothing to undermine their own requirements nor to prevent their imposing their values on their students. It perhaps threatens their philosophy of defined bigotry and threatens to allow their students to see that boys and girls can play together without negative consequences..

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

    Before the season started, they asked if any of the teams had girls and the answer was no. The girl came on mid season. The school does not play boys against girls in any sport. Girls can play together. This is out of the high respect and esteem that they have for women. They are not one better than the other just that their differences make them complementary. I think that it is too bad that people ridicule them for standing up for their beliefs.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • FillB

      "This is out of the high respect and esteem that they have for women" That's the same reason Muslim extremists give when asked why women are forced to wear burkhas. Just sayin'.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cranston Snord

    I love the quote from the Mesa team's athletic director, "I respect their views, but it's a bit out of the 18th century". Basically she's saying "I don't respect their views". She should take the que from her Mesa headmaster who has the right outlook. Too bad so many posters here are also so small-minded that they can't respect a way of thinking that is different than theirs. Sad that that mindset can flip flop from "live and let live" to "they're dummies" so easily.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Stephen

    I didn't go to a Catholic school, am not a Catholic, and do not really care for a lot of their beliefs, but I have no issue with the school making this decision. It is not like they said "men are better than women". They just said that it is their educational philosophy that young men and young women should be educated seperately. It is not only Catholics that believe it is easier to have young students achieve their full potential by having a seperated learning enviornments. There are plently of all boys and all girls prep schools. As a school they believe their athletics are an extension of the classroom. Thus, they do not feel it is appropriate for their men's baseball team to play against a girl.

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

    They should have played the game. Maybe the bigger question is why isn't there a softball team? How are they allowed to have a baseball team and not a softball team? Seems like there is some inequality going on in the league or at least both schools.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dangerkittie

    Wow, good for you making a stand on something that's SUCH an important issue. I think you were just actually afraid of losing to a girl...

    May 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. FactsRBad

    This is what is wrong with organized religions – outdated dogma promoted by an uneducated, nomadic people thousands of years ago is still ruling the thoughts and actions of people in the 21st century. Give me a break.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    Our Lady of Sorrows Academy, congratulations. Now your baseball team will ALWAYS be losers.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dangerkittie

    Bwahahahaha! Thanks for the Friday chuckle!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Horus

    @Cranston – No, I don't respect anyone, or group that subjugates women, or promotes inolerance and discrimination. Sorry, I guess I'm intolerant of me a hypocrite.

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

      But you support Obama's politically-based time table to withdraw from Afghanistan so the Al-Qaeda facilitating Taliban can return to power, making illiterate women cower in the corner under a sheet lest they get honor-slain by their brothers for talking on a cell phone or going outside unaccompanied.

      Typical self-righteous lib wallowing in her superiority complex.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. Alan

    As if I needed another reason to dislike the Catholic Church!

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


      CNN has thrown the Catholic Church under the bus with very poor reporting on this story.

      THE 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 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. latuya83

    Another example of why religion should be scorched from humanity.

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

      Very true, religion is one of the most damaging forces in society. Demoralizing and demonizing women, gays and anyone else not just like they are.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
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