Olivia Pichardo has been making headlines for her entire life. Recently, Pichardo became the first woman ever to make a Division-I baseball team. Brown University announced that Pichardo will be a part of the active varsity roster earlier this week, setting the stage of a historic achievement.
Pichardo made the team in the fall after trying out as a walk-on. She is expected to be a utility player that will be playing the infield and outfield.
Olivia Pichardo is First Woman To Play in Division 1 Baseball
Brown baseball head coach Grant Achilles informed the team that Pichardo made the spring roster at an October 4th team meeting. She’s expected to be active in the upcoming season as a walk-on utility player.
According to Achilles, Pichardo has the most complete walk-on tryout he’s witnessed as a coach.
No stranger to the spotlight, Pichardo was a pitcher and outfielder for the USA Baseball Women’s National Team and played club baseball in New York. She played varsity highschool baseball at Garden School in the seventh and eighth grade. At the age of 15, she was already throwing 70 mph baseballs.
While she’s always had the talent, Pichardo’s journey to play in a sport predominantly played by boys hasn’t been easy. She’s faced a lot of backlash and a lot of doubt throughout her career.
Pichardo’s Journey To Brown’s Varsity Team
Before heading into Brown, Pichardo was a member of Team USA this past summer and played in the Friendship Series against Team Canada. Prior to attending Brown, Pichardo also interned for the New York Mets Amateur Scouting Department.
After being accepted to the university, Pichardo immediately reached out to Achilies for an opportunity to try out for the team. She had to go through the fall workouts, practicing with the other walk-on candidates and the varsity roster for two weeks.
At the time, Pichardo was shuffling between middle infielder, outfielder and pitcher.
Pichardo’s Responds to Backlash
Pichardo was ecstatic to be introduced as the member of the spring roster, but she dealt with a lot of adversity on her way to becoming the first ever female D-1 baseball player. In fact, Pichardo has often been the only girl on the field during her baseball career.
While she never faced a lot of confrontation, there were always doubters around her, especially as she got older.
Many people believed that Pichardo was eventually going to need to stop playing the sport she loved as she moved up into highschool and college ranks.
After being announced to the Brown’s roster, Pichardo read hate messages for the first time.
Despite the historic achievement, this isn’t the first time that a woman has been a member of a college baseball roster. There’s been nearly 20 women that have been a part of a college baseball roster with almost eight prepared to suit up this season, albeit at Division II and Division III schools. In fact, none of them have been able to play at the NCAA Division 1 level like Pichardo.