This is Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky. Got a minute?
In 2010 the U.S.fielded a baseball team to compete in the Women's Baseball World Cup in Caracas.
Not softball, baseball.
Most Americans never heard about the team.
But Jennifer Ring knew about it.
Ring is a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.
She writes about the team, which included her daughter, in a new book called A Game of Their Own: Voices of Contemporary Women in Baseball.
Ring talked about the book recently at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse in New York City.
Her response to an audience member's question raises the possibility that the fastest route for a woman to make it to Major League Baseball would likely be as a pitcher.
"Just comparing men to women, how fast can the fastest female pitcher pitch?
"You know, it keeps going up.
And I think this is another thing, which is, we don't know how good women are.
Boys have been taught to throw hard from the time they're five or six years old, probably too much so, there's too much pressure, too much arm injuries, too much year-round pressure on boys.
"The best girl fastball pitchers pitch in the 80s.
The thing that makes it easier for girls to succeed as a pitcher on a boys' or a men's team are a couple of things.
One is that you really have to be fast, you have to run fast and you have to have a big arm if you're going to be an outfielder.
The pitchers can win with off-speed stuff.
So the girls who are the best pitchers can hit their spot, can throw off-speed stuff.
They can't compete with men throwing in the 90s at this point, although it may be coming."
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky.