Our Lady Sorrows Academy, a Catholic school in Arizona forfeited the state championship game on Thursday night because the opposing team had a female member, according to FS Arizona.
Paige Sultzbach, a 15-year-old female, is the starting second baseman for Mesa Preparatory Academy. Paige plays baseball because there is no softball team at the school yet. This is the first year Mesa has had a baseball team so they were more excited than ever to make it to the state championship game.
But Mesa couldn’t play in that game because Our Lady Sorrows has a strict rule against playing co-ed sports, and simply playing against a team with a girl on it would break that rule.
An Our Lady Sorrows spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News:
“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,” the statement said. “Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls.”
Paige sat out of both games that Mesa played against Our Lady Sorrows during the season because the games were at Our Lady’s home field and she wanted to respect their beliefs.
Mesa won by forfeit, but it’s not the same, says Mesa Athletic director Amy Arnold:
“We respect the stance of Our Lady of Sorrows Academy. They are obviously taking a moral stance on their beliefs, and we have to respect that. It’s a sad situation that the championship game cannot be played. No one wants to win or lose a championship by forfeit.”
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