“Paige Sultzbach, state champion”

The baseball team from Mesa Preparatory Academy made it all the way to the finals of the Arizona Charter Athletic Association’s tournament, where the Monsoons — and how cool is that, by the way? — were scheduled to meet Our Lady of Sorrows, a Catholic charter school from Phoenix that is run by the Society of St. Pius X, about which much, much more anon. As it happens, the Monsoons have a freshperson second baseperson named Paige Sultzbach, who is slick with the glove around the bag and who is also a female person. (Just for the record, Mesa’s archery team is coed as well.) Paige was a softball player in junior high, but, because Mesa doesn’t offer a girls’ softball team, she tried out, and made, the boys’ varsity baseball team, which is a formidable accomplishment for a 15-year-old. Her coaches and male teammates supported her, and good on them for doing that, too. This is the kind of story that makes celebrating the anniversary of Title IX worthwhile. Except that her opponents in the title game disagree, and they’ve dragged Jesus in as an accessory before the fact.

Despite the fact — or, the cynical heart would murmur, because of the fact — that Mesa and Ms. Sultzbach whacked them around twice this season, including an 11-3 pasting back on April 26, in their own ballpark, Our Lady of Sorrows forfeited the championship game rather than play against Paige Sultzbach, ace keystone-sacker and female person.

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