Olivia Pichardo is excited for her journey at Brown.
Earlier this week, Pichardo became the first female baseball player to make a Division I roster, following a successful tryout as a walk-on. She spoke to Brown’s web site for a profile of her journey.
“It was definitely a surreal moment for me because it’s something that I’ve wanted since eighth grade,” Pichardo said. “It’s kind of crazy to know that I’m living out my dream right now and my ideal college experience that I’ve always wanted, so that’s really cool.”
Pichardo said she is happy to be a trailblazer for representation.
“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,” she said. “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 played varsity baseball at Garden School in Queens in seventh and eighth grade. This past summer, she competed on the women’s national baseball team, hitting .182 with two hits and three RBIs in four games in a series against Team Canada. She also pitched a game, throwing three scoreless innings.
All this led to her dream.
“For me, I always just wanted to play college baseball, no matter what division it was,” Pichardo said.
She was pleasantly surprised to be lavished with applause by her teammates when they learned she made the team as a utility player.
“Coach introduced me to the entire team, and all of them greeted me warmly,” Pichardo said. “Everybody was super welcoming, and I really felt that from my teammates.
“I did not expect that at all — that definitely took me by surprise. Everyone was super happy about it.”
At Brown, she will balance the baseball with Ivy League studies – and she’s excited for the challenge.
“It’s stressful, but it’s the stress that I want,” Pichardo said. “I played sports my whole life, so I feel like having sports and then having my academics, it’s just a good balance for me.”