Zias senior academic All-American

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University senior Tracy Jordan of Rosamond, Calif., was recently named to the ESPN The Magazine All-America College Division academic first team in softball.

The team, chosen by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America, featured 11 first-team selections and 12 second-team nominees.

Jordan, who was a three-time first-team All-District VI selection, recently graduated from Eastern with a Bachelor of Science degree in community physical education. She had a 4.0 GPA.

As a four-year player for the Zias, she started 193 of 200 games played and posted a .313 batting average, ninth in ENMU history. In 2006, she hit .394 with 43 RBIs to help the Zias post a 33-21 record, including 13-11 in the Lone Star Conference South Division.

Track athlete honored — Eastern New Mexico University senior shot putter Nicole Valdez of Amarillo has been chosen to the first-team ESPN The Magazine All-District VI academic squad for the 2006 season.

Valdez threw a career-best 38-2 1/4 for seventh place in the Wes Kittley Open, hosted by Texas Tech in Lubbock on March 24. Academically, she is majoring in biology and is a pre-physical therapy student at ENMU, and has posted a 3.50 GPA.

Softball signee — Valerie Villela, a middle infielder from Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, has signed a national letter of intent to play softball next year at Eastern New Mexico University.

Villela, from Phoenix, played two years at Mesa and earned All-NJCAA Region I honors as a shortstop both years. She helped the Thunderbirds post a 42-19-1 record this spring, including 23-9 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, and qualify for the Region I tournament.

At Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, she earned all-region honors as a utility player in 2003 and 2004. She competed in cross country at Mountain Pointe and qualified for state competition in 2003.