Our Lady of Sorrows Academy Forfeits Arizona Baseball Championship Over Female Player, Religious Beliefs

An Arizona school has forfeited a baseball championship game over having to play against a female player on the opposing team.

Our Lady of Sorrows Academy has played Mesa Preparatory Academy during the regular season, but Paige Sultzbach always bowed out of the games out of respect for the school's religious beliefs, the Arizona Republic first reported.

Adamant on playing during the state championship game at Phoenix College on May 10, the high school freshman readied herself for the competition. But when she finished practice Wednesday afternoon, her team received news that Our Lady of Sorrows had thrown in the towel because of Mesa Prep's female second baseman.

In a statement obtained by Fox News, the academy explained its reasoning for refusing to play the team.

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.

The school belongs to the US district of the Society of Saint Pius X, a splinter group of the Catholic Church known for its conservative and traditionalist beliefs, the Arizona Republic explains.

A representative for the Women's Sports Foundation said the mindset won't carry over in the real world.

"In real life, these boys are going to be competing against the girls for jobs, for positions in graduate programs or in trade schools," Nancy Hogshead-Makar, the organization's senior director of advocacy, told the Associated Press. "In every other area of their life, they are going to be competing side by side."

Sultzbach's father, John, said he was disappointed with how the school handled the situation.

"Instead of changing their position, they decided to not play the game. Both teams worked hard to get to where they are and to have it come down to that is unfortunate," he told Fox News.