Brown University’s Olivia Pichardo, who became the first female to play in a Division I collegiate baseball game, was seen throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park in Boston on Wednesday night.
Pichardo got an at-bat against Bryant University while Brown was down 10-1 in the bottom of the ninth. By stepping into the left-handed batter’s box, Pichardo made NCAA history.
The Red Sox wanted to shed more light on that feat when they invited her to throw out the first pitch for their game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Pichardo stepped on the mound and fired one toward home plate, though the accuracy wasn’t all there. But she laughed it off and definitely showed some velocity in front of the cheering Boston crowd.
Pichardo, a native of Queens, is considered a utility player for the Brown Bears. As a freshman, she’s waiting in the wings for her opportunity for more playing time as she only has the one at-bat under her belt.
Prior to entering the Ivy League campus, Pichardo was on the USA Baseball Women’s National Team last summer. She also played basketball and volleyball at the Garden School from seventh grade through her completion of high school.
Baseball has always been a passion, though, as she completed an internship with the New York Mets’ amateur scouting department in 2022.
BROWN UNIVERSITY’S OLIVIA PICHARDO BECOMES FIRST WOMAN TO PLAY IN NCAA DIVISION I BASEBALL GAME
And it’s only right that her biggest inspiration in wanting to play baseball collegiately comes from Kelsie Whitmore, who was the first woman to appear in a starting lineup for an Atlantic League game when she played for the Staten Island Ferryhawks. Whitmore, a San Diego, California, native, remains on the team for this season as well.
“Kelsie Whitmore has been an inspiration for me for a long time,” Pichardo said via Brownbears.com. “She was the first female baseball player I had ever heard of; and ever since, I have been following her journey. I had the chance to play on the same team as her on the USA Baseball Women’s National Team.”
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Pichardo, who bats lefty and throws righty, is majoring in business economics while continuing to play the game she loves.