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 came into Brown’s game against Bryant in the ninth inning as a pincher, and she was first on the first pitch in her sole at-bat.
According to NCAA.com, Brown added Pichardo to her 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 have the opportunity, they should be judged on their baseball ability alone,” Achille said, according to ESPN. “No other factor should play into it. And Liv is an example of that.
“It’s not enough that she devotes all her work and effort to it. It takes a network of people who have supported her along the way. You need teammates along the way. Her teammates are a special bunch 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 what’s been the best thing for me is that she’s a teammate.
Pichardo told the Brown University website in November that being on the team — when she became the first female athlete to make it to a Division I baseball team, according to the website — was a “surreal moment for me,” one that had been her focus 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 United States women’s national baseball team, according to Brown Athletics.
The Bears (1-10) lost, 10-1, to Bryant, and the teams will play a doubleheader Saturday before meeting Wednesday.