Paige Sultzbach, the high school baseball player whose team won a state title by forfeit when the opposing team refused to play against a girl, has pioneering role model in her corner -- her school's athletic director is also one of two female football head coaches in the country.
Mesa (Ariz.) Preparatory Academy's starting second baseman helped lead her team to an undefeated regular season as a freshman. She then became a national media sensation after Our Lady of Sorrows, a rival school in Phoenix that lost twice to Mesa Prep during the regular season, forfeited the Arizona Charter Athletic Association's 1A state baseball championship on May 10 rather than play a team that fields a female player.
The story -- and Sultzbach herself -- became a major topic of discussion on TV, sports radio and social media.
But Sultzbach had inspiration when it comes to dispelling stereotypes as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated sports role. Mesa Prep athletic director Amy Arnold led the Monsoons to another state championship game -- in football.