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Arizona High School Forfeits Baseball Final over Female Player Paige Sultzbach

Our Lady of Sorrows fundamentalist Catholic high school located in Phoenix, Arizona, would rather throw away its shot at a championship than take the field against a female player.

That’s essentially what they told Mesa Preparatory Academy when they bailed on an Arizona state high school baseball championship game Thursday night because one of Mesa’s players – Paige Sultzbach – is a 15-year-old girl.

Sultzbach is the starting second baseman (basewoman?) for Mesa Prep. Out of respect for Our Lady of Sorrow’s some-would-argue misogynistic beliefs, she elected to bench herself during the teams’ two regular season meetings. That was all well and good for Sultzbach before the postseason, but with the state championship in play she had no intention of bowing to Our Lady of Sorrows’ anachronistic position.

"I felt like any passionate athletic person would feel (in that situation)," said Sultzbach, according to the Daily News. "I don't want our very first high school baseball team to win the championship on a forfeit."

Sultzbach’s father called Our Lady of Sorrows’ reaction to his daughter “unfortunate.” Her mother had a bit more to say on the issue.

“This is not a contact sport, it shouldn't be an issue," said Pamela Sultzbach. "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."

Our Lady of Sorrows has a very conservative reputation. The parochial school is run by the Society of St. Pius X, a fundamentalist sect of Catholics who distanced themselves from the Vatican in 1970 over perceived liberal reforms.

An official from the forfeiting school provided with a statement on the matter that read, “Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty. Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls."


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