Brown Announces the Addition of Olivia Pichardo, First NCAA Division I Female Baseball Student-Athlete, to Varsity Roster

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown Baseball Head Coaching Chair Grant Achilles has announced the addition of Olivia Pichardo to the team’s varsity roster for the upcoming 2023 season. Pichardo, who made the team as a walk-on after trying out this fall, is the first female in history to be on an active NCAA Division I Baseball varsity roster.

 

Prior to enrolling at Brown for the Fall 2022 semester, Pichardo was a member of the USA Baseball Women’s National Team and played club baseball for the New York Crush and Next Level Baseball. A native of Queens, N.Y., Pichardo played varsity high school baseball at Garden School as both a seventh and eighth grader.

 

During her tryout for the national team, she competed and pitched at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Twins. As a member of Team USA this summer, she participated in the Friendship Series against Team Canada in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Off the field, Pichardo interned in the New York Mets Amateur Scouting Department.

 


 
HISTORICAL CONTEXT
According to Baseball for All, a non-profit organization working to build gender equity in baseball and providing girls across America opportunities to play, coach, and lead within the sport, nearly 20 women have been members of collegiate baseball rosters at various institutions, with at least eight currently slated to suit up for the 2023 season, but none at the NCAA Division I level.
 
With her dream of playing college baseball in mind, Pichardo reached out to Achilles upon acceptance to Brown to inquire about trying out for the team. She spent two weeks with the program this fall, going through fall practice and workouts with current players, and working out as a middle infielder, outfielder, and pitcher. Achilles was impressed and offered her a spot on the team’s varsity roster for the upcoming 2023 season, making it official with an announcement at a recent team meeting.
 
“Every fall, we hold tryouts for students interested in joining our team,” said Grant Achilles, Baseball Head Coaching Chair. “It’s a workout common for baseball and allows us to evaluate athleticism and arm strength, as well as both offensive and defensive skills. That day, Olivia put together the most complete walk-on tryout I have seen from a player since becoming a head coach.”
 
Fast forward to October 4, when Pichardo entered the Paul Sloan Room for what appeared to be an ordinary meeting. 
 
“I thought it was just a typical hitters and pitchers meeting,” Pichardo said. And all of a sudden, (Achilles) made the transition to announcing to everyone that I made the spring roster. That definitely took me by surprise, and everyone was super happy about it. It was a surreal moment for me because it’s something I’ve wanted since eighth grade. It’s kind of crazy to know that I’m living out my dream right now and the ideal college experience that I’ve always wanted, so that’s really cool.”
 
“I’m just honestly trying to develop myself as a baseball player and not trying to think too broadly,” Pichardo added. “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 that I walked onto.”
 
Brown’s Spring 2023 roster currently sits at 31 players, with Pichardo serving as a utility player who can play both the infield and outfield.
 
Pichardo and the rest of the Brown baseball team will open up the 2023 season on February 24-26 with a four-game series at Georgia State. The home opener is scheduled for March 18 at 11:30 a.m. 
 
MEDIA INQUIRIES
Please email our athletic communications office for all interview requests; Kelvin Queliz, Associate Director of Athletics, Strategic Communications and Content Creation and Tim Geer, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications. 
 

 


 



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