Brown’s Olivia Pichardo becomes first woman to play in D-I NCAA baseball game

Olivia Pichardo/Brown University
Olivia Pichardo/Brown University

Months after becoming the first woman to make a Division I baseball roster, Olivia Pichardo made her NCAA debut on Friday.

Brown’s freshman took the plate as a hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning against Bryant. She landed on first base as Bryant continued 10-1 win. She first woman to play in the first division game.

Pichardo joined the team in the fall as one of 31 players originally named after an open qualifier. Now she is one of 36. She first saw live performances in 11 games of the season.

“Olivia had the most complete test outing I’ve ever seen from a player since becoming head coach,” coach Grant Achilles said in the fall.

Pichardo received applause from her teammates when Achilles announced in November that she had made the team.

“I’m just really excited that we’re getting more and more female baseball players at the collegiate level and no matter what division it’s just really nice to see that progress,” Pichardo said at the time via Brown’s statement.

Pichardo is not the first woman to play NCAA baseball since World War II. It is believed that this honor belongs to Julie Kroto, listed by St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1989. She paved the way for a few women to play with college baseball in Division II or lower. But nobody played in Division I until Pichardo on Friday.

According to her Brown biography, Pichardo began playing baseball as a Minor Leaguer in New York City. She then played varsity baseball in high school, in addition to club teams. She did United States women’s national team roster in 2022 as a pitcher and outfielder and played against Canada in five-game “Friendship” series.

She is now officially 0-for-1 with the ground as an NCAA player. With Brown due to play in the Ivy League tournament in May, Pichardo may have more options.


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