Brown’s Olivia Pichardo DI becomes first woman to play in NCAA baseball game

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Olivia Pichardo / Brown University

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

The Browns freshman took to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning against Bryant. She was out to first base as Bryant went 10-1 win, he is first woman to play in a I game.

Pichardo made the team in the fall as one of 31 players initially named to the roster after an open tryout. Now he is one of 36. He saw live action for the first time in 11 games of the season.

“Olivia put together the most complete walk-on effort I’ve seen by a player since becoming head coach,” coach Grant Achilles said in the fall.

Pichardo received a round of applause from his teammates when Achilles announced in November that he would make the team.

“I’m really glad we have and more female baseball players at the collegiate level, and it’s really nice to see this progress no matter what,” Pichardo said at the time via a Brown statement.

Pichardo is not the first woman to play NCAA baseball since World War II. it is considered an honor Julie Croteau, who made the Saint Mary’s College of Maryland roster in 1989. he paved the way many women to play II or below college baseball. But no one played in Division I until Pichardo on Friday.

According to his Brown bio, Pichardo started out in baseball as a Little Leaguer in New York. He then played varsity baseball in high school in addition to playing for club teams. He created US women’s national team roster Played as a pitcher and outfielder in 2022 and against Canada five match friendly series,

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He is now officially 0-for-1 with groundouts as an NCAA player. With the Browns scheduled to play through the Ivy League tournament in May, there could be opportunities to come for Pichardo.