Brown freshman Olivia Pichardo made NCAA history on Friday, becoming what the school said was the first woman to appear in a Division I baseball game.
The freshman from New York City came on as a pinch hitter with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning and grounded out to first base in what ended up being a 10-1 loss to Bryant in Providence, Rhode Island.
“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. No other factor should play into that. And Liv is an example of that,” Brown coach Grant Achilles said.
“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. They don’t handle her with white gloves because it’s different. They work to navigate the space with her as an individual, and that’s how she makes our team better is by bringing her best every day, pushing others and then having that unique dynamic.
“So when it comes across to how other teams and other girls are going to hopefully use Olivia as motivation for that, I think it’s not something you’re able to do on your own.”
Pichardo became the first woman to make an active NCAA Division I baseball varsity roster in the fall.
At the time, Achilles said he was impressed by her physical skills during her initial tryout and in subsequent practices, calling it the “most complete walk-on tryout I have seen from a player” since he became Brown’s coach in 2012.
Pichardo was a pitcher and outfielder for the U.S. baseball women’s national team in the summer and previously played varsity baseball in Queens.
Brown fell to 1-10 with Friday’s home-opening loss.