Olivia Pichardo became the first woman to make a Division I baseball roster. The Brown University freshman utility player told reporters the accomplishment was “surreal.”
Pichardo, now an official glass ceiling obliterator, has always dreamed of playing the game of baseball at the collegiate level. That dream became a reality in October as she tried out for one of Ivy League school’s 31 roster sports.
“It was definitely a surreal moment for me because it’s something that I’ve wanted since eighth grade. It’s kind of crazy to know that I’m living out my dream right now and my ideal college experience that I’ve always wanted, so that’s really cool.”
Pichardo’s watershed moment as it pertains to advancements by women in the male-dominated world of sports.
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) November 21, 2022
Pichardo Impresses Coach Grant Achilles At Tryouts
Knowing the odds were stacked against her, Pichardo showed up and showed out at tryouts. Her play caught the eye of Brown head coach Grant Achilles, who raved about her overall athleticism and grasp of fundamentals.
He raved to reporters about Pichardo’s game.
“The most complete walk-on tryout I have seen from a player since becoming a head coach.”
Olivia Pichardo has made the Brown University baseball team, becoming the first female in history to be on an active NCAA Division I baseball varsity roster pic.twitter.com/AO9jn4k5Us
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) November 21, 2022
And for Achilles, that’s nine years of walk-on tryouts and practices that followed, and no one impressed him more than Pichardo. That speaks volumes about how ready she was for the moment.
Who Is Olivia Pichardo?
Pichardo is an 18-year-old freshman at the prestigious Brown University in Rhode Island. She was born in Queens, New York, and developed a special talent for baseball at an early age while playing in the Forest Hills Little League. As a junior high school student at the private institution Garden School, located in Jackson Heights, Queens, she played varsity as a seventh and eighth grader.
Pichardo was a member of the U.S. baseball women’s national team over the summer. That along with high-level varsity play in New York, plus club level ball with New York Crush and Next Level Baseball helped prepare her for the moment.
As a member of Team USA, she played in the Friendship Series against Team Canada in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, this past summer. She also has a potential career in the front office after her playing career is done, as she’s already worked as an intern in the New York Mets amateur scouting department.
Have Other Women Made Division I College Baseball Rosters Before Pichardo?
History shows that over the years some 20 women have made a college baseball roster, but not one made it at the Division I level until Pichardo last month. Her doing so proves it can be done, which is a great thing for young girls aspiring to follow in her footsteps. As for Pichardo, she won’t rest on her laurels.
— ESPN (@espn) November 21, 2022
“I’m just honestly trying to develop myself as a baseball player and not trying to think too broadly. For me, I always just wanted to play college baseball, no matter what division it was. This school happens to be a Division I team I walked onto.”