Brown University Walk-On Is First Woman on D-I Baseball Roster

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Brown University freshman Olivia Pichardo became the first woman to be selected to a Division I varsity baseball team this week.

The 18-year-old from Queens, N.Y., began her collegiate baseball journey this semester while participating in walk-on tryouts for the Bears baseball team. Pichardo then completed an assessment, which included practice and workouts with the current roster.

“It was a surreal moment because it’s something I’ve wanted from eighth grade. via Brown’s press release . “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 noted that she’s been playing baseball since she was in kindergarten. She also made the roster for the 2022 USA Baseball Women’s National Team as a right-handed pitcher and outfielder. Baseball For All, a non-profit organization that aims to give more opportunities to women in the sport, hosted the tournament.

According to Baseball for All, 20 women have appeared on collegiate baseball rosters previously, with at least eight poised to play next season. None have ever played at the Division I level. Julie Croteau was the first woman to make a collegiate baseball roster in 1989 at Division III St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

” “I’m just really happy that we have more and more female players at the college level, and it doesn’t matter what division, this progression is just really great to see,” Pichardo stated. “It’s really paving a way for other girls to have these goals and dream big, and know that it is possible .”

Brown Coach Grant Achilles praised Pichardo for her tryout performance which led to her being on the roster.

“Olivia had the best walk-on tryout that I have ever seen from a player since becoming head coach. Achilles said.

Pichardo will serve as a utility player, playing both the infield and outfield during the upcoming season, which begins in February 2023.

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