PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University undergraduate Olivia Pichardo has become the first female athlete in NCAA Division I history to be named to a varsity baseball roster, marking a historic moment for women in sports and a personal milestone enabled by Pichardo’s dogged determination.
The 18-year-old first-year student from Queens, New York, has devoted her time and energy to baseball since age 5. By middle school, she dreamed she could continue playing in college, despite being a female athlete in a male-dominated sport.
So when she started her first semester at Brown in September, she participated in baseball walk-on tryouts followed by a weeks-long assessment process that included rigorous practice and workouts with current players. She was elated, albeit in shock, when she clinched a spot as the team officially announced its roster for the 2023 season, which begins next February.
“It was definitely a surreal moment for me because it’s something that I’ve wanted since eighth grade,” Pichardo said. “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.”