Pichardo 1st woman to homer in summer league

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. — Olivia Pichardo of Brown University became the first woman to hit a home run in the history of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League when she connected Saturday for the Sag Harbor Whalers in the second game of a doubleheader against the first-place Westhampton Aviators.

A left-handed hitter, Pichardo pulled a two-run shot over the right-field fence that sent her Sag Harbor teammates jumping and shouting in excitement as they spilled from the dugout.

The 19-year-old Pichardo recently finished her freshman season at Brown, where on March 17 she became the first woman to appear in a Division I baseball game when she pinch hit and grounded out in a 10-1 loss to Bryant.

That was the only game Pichardo appeared in for the Bears last season, but the 5-foot-7, 160-pound utility player is getting regular at-bats as an outfielder for Sag Harbor this summer. A right-handed pitcher, she’s also struck out six batters over three innings in three outings out of the bullpen — and she even pitched in the league’s All-Star Game this month.

Modeled on the well-known Cape Cod League that draws scores of elite prospects, the six-team HCBL is a summer wood-bat league on Long Island for college players. The league has produced more than 20 major leaguers since its inception in 2008, most notably Milwaukee Brewers Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes, Washington Nationals All-Star pitcher Josiah Gray and Arizona Diamondbacks Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed.

Pichardo, from Queens, New York, was an outfielder and pitcher on the USA Baseball Women’s National Team that won three of five against Team Canada in its only games last summer. She walked on at Brown in the fall, and coach Grant Achilles told her she earned a roster spot in November.

Pichardo played club ball in the New York area and last year completed an internship in the New York Mets‘ amateur scouting department. She was a basketball standout and also played volleyball at the Garden School before attending Brown.

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