Olivia Pichardo becomes first woman to play Division 1 collegiate baseball in the US

Olivia Pichardo becomes first woman to play Division 1 collegiate baseball in the US
The 18-year-old Queens, New York, native and USA women's National Team alum made the team at Brown University, Rhode Island. Before her, 16 girls made it to collegiate baseball, none at the Division 1 level

Olivia Pichardo, 18, became the first female student-athlete to feature on a NCAA Division 1 baseball roster as Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, announced she made the 2023 team.

The Brown baseball team season begins on 24 February against Georgia State.

A Queens, New York, native, Pichardo started playing baseball when she was five years old.

"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 this progression," Pichardo said in a Brown University press release. "It's really paving the way for other girls in the next generation to also have these goals that they want to achieve and dream big and know that they can do it."

Pichardo has pitched and played as an outfielder. She interned for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) amateur scouting department and threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Mets on Women's Day in August.

Pichardo made her debut for the US Women's National Team, World No. 4 in the WBSC rankings, as a pitcher in the friendly series against No. 3 Canada in June.

Infielder Julie Crouteau became the first woman to play college baseball when she made the team at St.Mary's College in 1989. She would also become the first woman to coach in NCAA baseball.

Catcher Alexia George (St. Elisabeth University), who played for the US Women's National Team in 2019, and pitcher Alli Schroeder (Vancouver Island University), who played for Canada in the Women's Baseball World Cup 2018, committed for the 2022 season.

Baseball for All lists 16 female players in college baseball before Pichardo. None of them competed at the Division 1 level.