With a late-inning pinch-hit appearance in an eventual loss to Bryant, Brown University freshman Olivia Pichardo made college baseball history. After she stepped to the plate, Pichardo became the first woman ever to appear in a Division I college baseball game:
HISTORY! Olivia Pichardo becomes the first female in history to appear in an NCAA Division I baseball game #EverTrue pic.twitter.com/35mqSIl7rS— Brown Baseball (@BrownU_Baseball) March 17, 2023
Pichardo's pioneering moment ended with a first-pitch ground-out:
Here's Olivia Pichardo making history as the first woman to play in an NCAA Division I baseball game today for Brown. (First-pitch groundout.) pic.twitter.com/aQDiWovrEe— David Adler (@_dadler) March 17, 2023
Brown eventually lost the game by a score of 10-1. As NCAA.com notes, Pichardo is one of eight women on a college baseball roster this season but the only one at the Division 1 level.
After Pichardo, a native of Queens, played for the USA Baseball Women's National Team, she joined Brown's team as a walk-on last November. That made her the first woman ever to be on a Division 1 varsity baseball roster. "Every fall, we hold tryouts for students interested in joining our team," Brown head baseball coach Grant Achilles told a Brown University reporter at the time. "It's a workout common for baseball and allows us to evaluate athleticism and arm strength, as well as both offensive and defensive skills. Olivia put together the most complete walk-on tryout I have seen from a player since becoming a head coach."
"I'm just really glad that we're having more and more female baseball players at the collegiate level, and no matter what division, it's just really good to see this progression," Pichardo said shortly after making the team. "It's really paving the way for other girls in the next generation to also have these goals that they want to achieve and dream big and know that they can do it."