Olivia Pichardo becomes first female to play Division I baseball

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Olivia Pichardo

Olivia Pichardo
Photo: Brown University

Olivia Pichardo is no stranger to baseball, having applied her trade on diamonds around New York from a young age. A dream that started as a young girl in Queens has just become a reality, reaching another milestone for women in sports. Pichardo will be the first female to play Division I baseball, as she has made Brown’s roster for the 2023 season. A Bears’ release states around 20 females have played college baseball but none have been at the D-I level.

Olivia Pichardo Makes History as First NCAA DI Female Baseball Player

The 18-year-old Pichardo took part in Brown’s walk-on tryouts that lasted weeks this fall. The release said Pichardo was “elated, albeit in shock” when she found out she officially made the Bears’ roster for the upcoming season that starts in February.

“It was definitely a surreal moment for me because it’s something that I’ve wanted since eighth grade,” Pichardo said in a news release. “It’s kind of crazy to know that I’m living out my dream right now and my ideal college experience that I’ve always wanted, so that’s really cool.”

Pichardo showed her skills as a middle infielder, outfielder, and pitcher during tryouts, impressing Brown head baseball coach Grant Achilles with her athleticism, strength, and versatility. She’ll be on the 31-player roster as a utility player next year, where she can play in the outfield or infield.

“Every fall, we hold tryouts for students interested in joining our team,” said Achilles via news release. “It’s a workout common for baseball and allows us to evaluate athleticism and arm strength, as well as both offensive and defensive skills. Olivia put together the most complete walk-on tryout I have seen from a player since becoming a head coach.”

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