Brown University freshman Olivia Pichardo made NCAA history on Friday.
Pichardo became the first woman to appear in a Division I baseball game. She entered the game at the bottom of the ninth inning as a pinch hitter, according to ESPN.
“I just hope that young girls can watch and see that this is possible; that it’s not just a dream but it is a tangible goal they can have. I really hope that there is a whole new wave and generation of girls that come around and try to make it as far as I have, and further in baseball,” Pichardo said, according to a statement from Brown University.
Pichardo is the first woman to play Division I baseball but according to MLB, women have played college baseball at other levels. Some of these women include Susan Perabo at Webster University in 1987 and Julie Croteau at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1989. A total of 24 women have played college baseball through 2023. This list included seven women who are playing this season aside from Pichardo.
HISTORY 👏 #ThatsaW— ESPN (@espn) March 18, 2023
(via @ncaabaseball, @brownu_baseball) pic.twitter.com/kdikE6NIa8
“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, according to ESPN.
Pichardo is a left-handed batting utility player, according to The Associated Press.
HISTORY! Olivia Pichardo becomes the first female in history to appear in an NCAA Division I baseball game #EverTrue pic.twitter.com/35mqSIl7rS— Brown Baseball (@BrownU_Baseball) March 17, 2023
Pichardo was the first woman last fall to make an active NCAA Division I baseball varsity roster, according to ESPN. Over the summer, she was a pitcher and outfield for the United States women’s national team and she also played varsity baseball in Queens, New York.
MLB reported that Pichado also participated in their Breakthrough Series which showcases girls to national teams and college recruitment programs. She also participated in MLB GRIT which is a pro-style workout built for young women athletes to showcase their abilities.
Brown University ended up losing the game to Bryant University in Providence, Rhode Island with a score of 10-1 Friday night, NCAA reported.