A freshman is the first woman to be included on a Division I baseball squad

Olivia Pichardo has created history.

The Brown University freshman from Queens, New York, who is 18 years old, is the first woman in the history of NCAA Division I to be named to a varsity baseball roster. The institution in Rhode Island issued a press statement praising Pichardo’s “dogged persistence” for helping her make the squad.

Pichardo has played baseball since kindergarten, when she was a toddler. In middle school, she competed on travel and varsity teams, and in 2022, after the coronavirus pandemic had delayed her attempt, she eventually tested out for the USA Baseball Women’s National Team. In addition to her stint as a pitcher and outfielder, she interned with the scouting department of the New York Mets.

Olivia Pichardo began her baseball career at New York’s Forest Hills Little League. Yale University

Pichardo stated that when she decided to enroll at Brown, she instantly set her sights on the baseball field and the Brown Bears.

“I’ve always wanted to play college baseball, regardless of the division,” Pichardo said.

According to the school, Pichardo participated in the team’s walk-on tryouts in September, followed by a two-week evaluation process consisting of rigorous exercises and practices with existing players. In October, head coach Grant Achilles said that Pichardo will be on the roster for the 2023 season, which would begin in February. Brown University posted a video on Instagram with the squad clapping for Pichardo while she smiled.

“It was certainly a bizarre experience for me, as I’ve desired this since eighth grade,” Pichardo said. It’s sort of odd to realize that I’m currently living my goal and having the ideal college experience I’ve always desired, but that’s very amazing.

Pichardo will act as a utility player when the team’s season begins with a four-game series against Georgia State University, meaning she may play both infield and outfield. She is one of the 31 players currently on the roster of the institution.

In November 2022, Olivia Pichardo will practice with the Bears during the fall. Yale University

According to Baseball For All, a nonprofit that promotes gender equality in baseball, at least eight women will play collegiate baseball in 2023, but none at the Division 1 level where Pichardo will compete. According to the organization, a record number of women were listed on college baseball rosters in 2020 and 2021, just over 30 years after Julie Crouteau made history as the first woman to play on a college team in 1989.

Pichardo stated, “I’m ecstatic that there are more and more female baseball players at the collegiate level, regardless of division. It’s great to see this progression.” “This is paving the way for other girls in the next generation to also have these goals, to dream big, and to know they can achieve them.”