When Brown College’s baseball season begins in February, one of many gamers taking the sector will make historical past. Olivia Pichardo, a first-year pupil from Queens, N.Y., will probably be first girl on the roster of a Division I faculty baseball staff within the U.S.
“It is form of loopy to know that I am dwelling out my dream proper now and my ultimate faculty expertise that I’ve all the time wished, in order that’s actually cool,” Pichardo stated in a media launch. She stated being named to the staff is surreal, because it has been her aim since eighth grade to proceed enjoying baseball in faculty.
Pichardo walked on to Brown’s staff following tryouts and a grueling evaluation course of – throughout which she instantly impressed the top coach, demonstrating her skills as an infielder, outfielder and pitcher.
“It is a exercise frequent for baseball and permits us to judge athleticism and arm power, in addition to each offensive and defensive expertise,” stated Brown baseball head coach Grant Achilles. “Olivia put collectively essentially the most full walk-on tryout I’ve seen from a participant since changing into a head coach.”
Making the reduce is simply the most recent achievement on the ballfield for Pichardo. This yr, the 18-year-old was named to the roster of the USA Baseball Girls’s Nationwide Workforce as a right-handed pitcher and outfielder.
Girls have been making strides onto the rosters of baseball groups in recent times. In Might, Kelsie Whitmore grew to become the primary girl to start out in a sport in professional baseball’s Atlantic League, taking left area for the Staten Island FerryHawks.
Baseball For All, a corporation that advocates for women and girls in baseball, retains an inventory of schools and universities that may think about proficient gamers, no matter gender. There are 8 ladies (together with Pichardo) who’re rostered to play varsity faculty baseball within the spring of 2023, in line with the group.
Pichardo will probably be a utility participant in each the infield and outfield when the faculty season begins. She says when Achilles introduced throughout an October staff assembly that she had made the reduce, her new teammates broke out into applause.
“I didn’t anticipate that in any respect — that positively took me abruptly,” Pichardo stated. “Everybody was tremendous pleased about it.”
And with a bit of luck, she’ll be removed from the final girl to play faculty baseball on the highest stage.
“I am simply actually glad that we’re having increasingly feminine baseball gamers on the collegiate stage, and it doesn’t matter what division, it is simply actually good to see this development,” Pichardo stated. “It is actually paving the way in which for different women within the subsequent technology to even have these objectives that they need to obtain and dream huge and know that they’ll do it.”