Brown University student is first woman to make Division 1 baseball team
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Brown University student is making history as the first female athlete to ever make an NCAA Division I varsity baseball team.
Pichardo said she was elated.
“It was definitely a surreal moment for me because it’s something that I’ve wanted since eighth grade,” she said. “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 was a pitcher and outfielder for the USA Baseball Women’s National Team and played club baseball in New York. She spent two weeks with the Brown program this fall, going through practice and workouts with current players, and working out as a middle infielder, outfielder and pitcher.
Head coach Grant Achilles said he was immediately impressed with Pichardo’s performance in multiple positions.
“Olivia put together the most complete walk-on tryout I have seen from a player since becoming a head coach,” he said.
A native of Queens, New York, Pichardo played varsity high school baseball at Garden School in seventh and eighth grade. As a member of Team USA this summer, she participated in the Friendship Series against Team Canada in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Pichardo also interned in the New York Mets Amateur Scouting Department.
Nearly 20 women have been named to baseball rosters at the college level, but none in Division I. That’s according to Baseball for All, a nonprofit that advocates for women’s opportunities to play and coach baseball.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.