Queens native Olivia Pichardo made history Friday night as the Brown freshman became the first woman to play in a Division-I baseball game.
Pichardo entered Brown’s game against Bryant in the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter, and she grounded out to first on the first pitch in her lone at-bat.
According to NCAA.com, Brown added Pichardo to its roster in the fall after a tryout — listing her as a utility player.
She didn’t play in the Bears’ first 10 games, but Brown head coach Grant Achilles sent her to the plate for catcher Jacob Burley against Bryant.
“I hope it shows people that if a player is talented enough to be given the opportunity that they should be judged solely on their baseball abilities,” Achilles said, according to ESPN. “No other factor should play into that. And Liv is an example of that.
“It doesn’t just take her putting all the work and effort in. It takes a network of people that have supported her along the way. It takes teammates along the way. Her teammates are a special group to be able to both realize how historic this moment is but also to hold her accountable as a teammate to our standard as a baseball player. And I think that’s been the most beautiful part of it for me is that she is a teammate.”
Pichardo told the Brown University website in November that making the team — when she became the first female athlete to make a Division-I baseball roster, according to the website — was a “surreal moment for me,” one that had been her goal since eighth grade.
NCAA.com, citing Baseball For All, wrote that eight women are playing on college baseball teams for the 2023 season, but Pichardo is the only one at the Division-I level.
She spent last summer with the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, according to Brown Athletics.
The Bears (1-10) lost, 10-1, to Bryant, and the teams will play a doubleheader Saturday before meeting again Wednesday.