So what's the deal? Mesa Preparatory Academy (MPA) has a girl playing baseball against boys. On the surface one might think, "who cares?" But in reality if you're a boy who is considering stealing second, and the second baseman is not a "man" at all, but a girl - do you put forth the full-out effort to steal, knowing that one of the possibilities is you're going to slide into her, and if you hit hard enough she may drop the ball and you'll be safe? The same holds true in a double-play situation - it is the runner's responsibility to disrupt the second baseman in anyway they can, either missing the throw to him, or messing up the throw to first base. The boys, coaches and faculty of Our Lady of Sorrows Academy (OLSA) respect women and out of respect for women, they forfeit the state championship game rather than put their morals off to the side for the sake of a game.
Some have argued that OLSA should not participate in a league which allows girls to play, but the league and all the other teams know the position of OLSA and in two regular season games between MPA and OLSA the young lady sat out those games, respecting the values of OLSA - but when it came to the championship game those values were no longer respected? Why did she not insist upon playing in the regular season? They know that OLSA would have forfeited those games as well, so why change their position at the state championship game? The team, coaches and parents showing inconsistency and lack of fortitude is that of MPA. So why should OLSA play in the league at all? Again, the league and the teams know the position of OLSA and they said nothing prior to the state championship game. The position of OLSA has been well known in the league and they have forfeited other games in other sports prior to this incident.
The mother of stated "I felt like any passionate athletic person would feel (in that situation)," said Sultzbach, who added, "I don't want our very first high-school baseball team to win the championship on a forfeit." The insistence upon putting Paige into the game caused the forfeit. The mother also 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.” Then they shouldn't force the hand of the well-known position of OLSA. They knew going into the game that OLSA would forfeit if MPA played a girl.
When the league began play Paige was not on MPA's team. The first time OLSA became aware of her being on the team was the first time the teams met earlier in the season - and it was decided that Paige would sit out the game - which she did on the other time the two teams met in the regular season. MPA, coincidentally, won both of those games. The may have been able to win the championship without her too AND would have been playing OLSA on the same terms they played in the regular season. Insisting that Paige played they guaranteed their state championship.
The bottom line is, the men/boys of OLSA have respect for women/girls - and will not put their boys up against girls in coed sports. This is not the first time this has come up in this league - and it seems to be making national news this time because someone's mom wants some attention.
AZCentral (The Arizona Republic)