Olivia Pichardo, a freshman and apprentice at Brown, became the first woman to be named to the active NCAA Division I baseball roster this fall, the school announced Monday.
Last summer, Pichardo was the pitcher and outfielder for the US women’s baseball team. She previously played varsity baseball in Queens, New York and played club baseball for New York Crush and Next Level baseball.
Brown’s baseball coach Grant Achilles said he was impressed with Pichardo’s athleticism during her first tryouts and subsequent practices.
Achilles, who is entering his ninth season as manager, said Pichardo had “the most complete tryout I’ve ever seen from a player since he became head coach.”
A utility player who can play both infield and outfield, Pichardo was one of 31 players named for the upcoming spring season.
Pichardo learned that she was in the squad during a team meeting on October 4th.
“It was definitely a surreal moment for me because I’ve wanted this since eighth grade,” Pichardo said in a press release. “It’s kind of crazy to know that I’m living my dream right now and my perfect college experience that I’ve always wanted, so it’s really cool.”
Brown’s first game will be on February 24 in Georgia.
About 20 women have made college baseball rosters, according to the nonprofit Baseball for All. Pichardo is the first to do so at the NCAA Division I level.
“I’m just honestly trying to develop as a baseball player and not trying to think too big,” Pichardo said in a press release. “As for me, I always just wanted to play college baseball, no matter what division it was. This school turned out to be the first division team that I got into.”