Brown University freshman utility player Olivia Pichardo made history this week as the walk-on became the first woman in the history of Division I Baseball to make a varsity baseball roster. Twenty women have made college baseball rosters, but until now, none of them had come from the Division I ranks.
Olivia’s accomplishment comes on the heels of Brown’s fall workouts, where she put together one of the more impressive walk-on tryouts in program history, per Bears head coach Grant Achilles, who recently completed his eighth season as head coach.
“Every fall, we hold tryouts for students interest in joining our team,” Achilles said. “It’s a workout common for baseball and allows us to evaluate athleticism and arm strength, as well as both offensive and defensive skill sets.
“Olivia put together the most complete walk-on tryout I have seen from a player since becoming a head coach.”
Pichardo, who prides herself in being a jack-of-all-trades type of player with an ability to play in the infield or outfield, is no stranger to the game of baseball. The 5-foot-7, 155-pounder, became enamored with the idea of playing baseball at the age of five, and she competed for the United States Women’s National Baseball Team this past summer.
Now, she’s a member of the Brown University baseball team.
“It’s definitely a surreal moment for me because it’s something that I’ve wanted since eighth grade,” Pichardo said in a school 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 school.
“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 the progression,” she added. “It’s really paving the way for other girls in the next generation to also have these goals that they want to achieve. Now they know they can do it.”
The Queens, N.Y., native and Brown will begin their 2023 baseball season on the road against Georgia State on February 24.