Olivia Picardo is the first woman to roster Division I Baseball: NPR


Olivia Picardo, 18, was named to the Brown University baseball team. She is the first woman named to the roster of a Division I baseball team in the United States

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Olivia Picardo, 18, was named to the Brown University baseball team. She is the first woman named to the roster of a Division I baseball team in the United States

Brown University Athletics

When the Brown University baseball season kicks off in February, one of the players who take the field will make history. Olivia Picardo, a freshman from Queens, New York, will be the first woman on the roster of a Division I college baseball team in the United States

“It’s kind of crazy to know that I’m living my dream right now and my ideal college experience that I’ve always wanted, so that’s pretty awesome,” Picardo said in a press release. She said being named to the team is surreal, since it’s been her goal since eighth grade to continue playing college baseball.

Picardo made the transition to Brown’s team after tryouts and a grueling evaluation process, during which she immediately impressed the head coach, demonstrating his skills as an infielder, outfielder, and pitcher.

“It’s a common workout for baseball and allows us to evaluate athleticism and arm strength as well as both offensive and defensive skills,” said Grant Achilles, head baseball coach at Brown. “Olivia has put together the most comprehensive audition she has ever seen of a player since you became head coach.”

Making the cut is just the latest on-field achievement for Picardo. This year, the 18-year-old was named to the United States Baseball Women’s National Team roster as a right-handed pitcher and outfielder.


Picardo will be a utility player for Brown, capable of playing both the infield and the outfield.

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Picardo will be a utility player for Brown, capable of playing both the infield and the outfield.

Brown University Athletics

Women have made great strides in baseball team rosters in recent years. In May, Kelsie Whitmore became the first woman to start a game in professional baseball’s Atlantic League, picking up left field for the Staten Island FerryHawks.

Baseball For All, an organization that supports girls and women in baseball, maintains a list of colleges and universities that will consider talented players, regardless of gender. There are 8 women (including Picardo) who are lined up to play varsity college baseball in the spring of 2023, according to the organization.


Picardo says her teammates were welcoming and applauding when she was named to the roster.

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Picardo says her teammates were welcoming and applauding when she was named to the roster.

Brown University Athletics

Picardo will be a utility player on both the infield and outfield when the college season begins. He says that when Achilles announced during an October team meeting that he had made the cut, his new teammates erupted in applause.

“I wasn’t expecting this at all – this definitely took me by surprise,” Picardo said. “Everyone was super happy with it.”

And with any luck, she’ll be far from the last woman to play college baseball at the top level.

“I’m really happy that we have more and more female baseball players at the collegiate level, and it doesn’t matter in which division, it’s really nice to see this progression,” Picardo said. “It’s really paving the way for other next generation girls to have these goals too that they want to achieve and dream big and know they can do it.”

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