Famous female firsts in sports history

Based on the news that Danica Patrick won the Daytona 500 pole Sunday, here are more famous female firsts in sports history.

Feb. 17, 2013: Danica Patrick wins the pole at Daytona 500, the first woman to ever clinch a pole in the Cup Series. The previous best start was ninth by Janet Guthrie.

Sept. 9, 2012: Shannon Eastin became first woman to be an official in an NFL regular-season game.

Aug. 8, 2012: For the first time, the United States sends more female athletes than male athletes to the Olympic Games in London.

Aug. 8, 2012: Sarah Attar became the first Saudi Arabian track and field athlete at the Olympic Games and one of the first two women to compete for Saudi Arabia in their Olympic team.

August 2012: Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore became the first women admitted as members to the Augusta National Golf Club.

December 2010: The Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team extended its winning streak to a record 90 games before it ended Dec. 30, 2010 in a loss to Stanford.

June 2010: Cammi Granato and Angela James became first women elected to be inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.

Jan. 24, 2010: Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., became the first woman to win a PBA Tour title when she defeated Chris Barnes to win the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. Kulick earned a berth in the Tournament of Champions by winning the PBA Women's World Championship, the first PBA women's major tournament.

Nov. 5, 2009: Nancy Lieberman became the first woman to become head coach of an NBA-affiliated team, Frisco of the NBDL.

Feb. 5 2009: Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt recorded her 1,000th win in a game against Georgia.

February 2009: Kim Bain became the first woman to compete in the Bassmaster Classic in the events 38-year history. She finishes in 47th place in fishing's most prestigious event.

April 27, 2008: Ashley Force became the first woman to win a race in NHRA Funny Car history. She won the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway.

April 20, 2008: Lorena Ochoa won four consecutive LPGA events in a four-week span.

April 20, 2008: Danica Patrick won the Japan Grand Prix, the first woman to win a closed course top-level event.

April 25, 2006: NBA referee Violet Palmer became the first woman to officiate an NBA playoff game. She worked Game 2 of the Nets-Pacers first-round playoff series.

April 9, 2006: Katherine Legge finished eighth in the Champ Car series race at Long Beach. It was the best finish by a female driver in the history of the series (founded as CART in 1978).

2006: Negro Leagues owner Effa Manley is the first woman elected and inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

May 29, 2005: Danica Patrick set several marks for women at the Indianapolis 500. She started the race in fourth position (best starting position for a woman), she led three times for 19 laps (first women to lead a lap at the Indy 500) and finished fourth (best finish for a woman).

May 2005: Former BET executive Shelia Johnson became the WNBA's first black female owner when she purchased the Washington Mystics from Abe Pollin.

October 2004: Isabelle Beisiegel became the first female to enter the PGA Tour qualifying tournament (Q-school). Her 72-hole total of 35-over 323 was last among the 78 players who completed all four rounds.

July 2003: Suzy Whaley played in the Greater Hartford Open after becoming the first woman to officially qualify for a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945. She won the 2003 Connecticut PGA Chapter Championship.

May 2003: Annika Sorenstam became the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to play in a PGA Tour event. Sorenstam was given a sponsor's exemption to play in the Bank of America Colonial Tournament.

April 13, 2003: Goaltender Ginny Capicchioni became the first woman to compete in the National Lacrosse League, playing nearly 12 minutes for the New Jersey Storm. Capicchioni allowed six goals on 13 shots, finishing with seven saves in less than 12 minutes in an 18-9 loss to the Vancouver Ravens.

February 2003: Teresa Phillips is named Tennessee State's head basketball coach, becoming the first female coach of a Division I men's basketball team in NCAA history.

February 2003: Hayley Wickenheiser became the first woman to score in a men's professional hockey game.

December 2002: Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in a Division I-A football game when she tried an extra point for New Mexico against UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl. It was blocked in the Bruins' 27-13 victory.

November 2001: Stephanie Ready became the first woman to coach a men's professional sports team when she took the job of assistant coach for the Greenville Groove of the National Basketball Developmental League.

August 2001: Ashley Martin, placekicker at Jacksonville State University in Alabama became the first woman to play and score in a Division I college football game.

Oct. 31, 1997: Violet Palmer became the first woman to officiate an NBA game, between the Dallas Mavericks and Vancouver Grizzlies. The second female ref, Dee Kantner, made her debut six days later.

May 1997: Ila Borders of the Saint Paul Saints became the first woman to pitch in a regular-season professional game.

April 1995: Heather Sue Mercer earned spot as placekicker on Duke football roster.

June 1993: Julie Krone became the first woman to win a Triple Crown race (Belmont Stakes). Krone didn't race in the 1994 Belmont, but finished as runner-up in 1995.

Dec. 13, 1992: Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in a regular-season professional hockey game. She was goalie for the Atlanta Knights in the IHL.

1988 Shauna Robinson became the first woman to win a NASCAR Touring Series event and in 1994 won the pole at Atlanta for the NASCAR Busch Series.

1986: Nancy Lieberman became the first woman to play in a men's professional basketball league when she joined the Springfield Fame of the USBL.

1985: Lynette Woodard became the first woman to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.

1984: Victoria Roche of Belgium became the first girl to play in the Little League World Series.

May 1980: Betty Ellis became the first woman to officiate in a major sports league in the U.S. or Canada as a linesman for the North American Soccer League.

September 1979: The Indiana Pacers signed Ann Meyers to a one-year, no-cut contract for $50,000. She was the first woman signed by an NBA team (and they cut her seven days later).

May 1977: Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500. She finished ninth at Indy in 1978 with a team she formed, owned and managed.

1976: Shirley Muldowney became the first woman to win a National Hot Rod Association race. After, Muldowney became the first woman to win a Top Fuel NHRA race.

1973: Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes." King won 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

June 1972: Bernice Gera became the first woman umpire in organized baseball (Class A NY PA). She quit after seven innings of league game claiming the "only thing I learned from baseball is how to be bitter."

1969: Diane Crump, 20, was escorted by police and greeted with boos and cheers at Florida's Hialeah racetrack as she became the first woman to ride in a pari-mutuel race in the United States. A year later, she became the first female jockey to race in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 15th among 17 riders.

1953: Toni Stone became the first woman to play as a regular on a big-league professional team as a member of the Negro League's Indianapolis Clowns.

1938: Babe Zaharias was the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event. She played in the 1938 and 1945 Los Angeles Open.

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