PHOENIX — Instead of playing in a championship baseball game, Paige Sultzbach and her team won’t even make it to the dugout.
A Phoenix school that was scheduled to play the 15-year-old Mesa girl and her male teammates forfeited the game rather than face a female player.
Our Lady of Sorrows bowed out of Thursday night’s game against Mesa Preparatory Academy in the Arizona Charter Athletic Association championship. The game had been scheduled at Phoenix College.
Paige, who plays second base at Mesa Prep, had to sit out two previous games against Our Lady of Sorrows out of respect for its beliefs. But having her miss the championship was not an option for Mesa Prep.
Paige’s mother, Pamela Sultzbach, told The Arizona Republic, which first reported the story, the team found out about the forfeit Wednesday.
“This is not a contact sport; it shouldn’t be an issue,” Pamela Sultzbach said. “It wasn’t that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it’s that (they believe) a girl’s place is not on a field.”
Officials at Our Lady of Sorrows declined comment. In a written statement Thursday, the school said the decision to forfeit was consistent with a policy prohibiting co-ed sports.