Kandis Jones Earns First Team Academic All-America Honors

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

TOWSON, MD - New Mexico State softball senior centerfielder Kandis Jones was just one of 11 Division I athletes to be named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America® Softball First Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced Thursday.

A Community Health major with a 3.88 grade point average, Jones is a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) outfielder who earned first team conference honors in 2011. She helped lead New Mexico State to a program-best 44-17 record, its first WAC regular season and tournament championships as well as the Aggies' first NCAA tournament selection.

A native of La Mirada, Calif., Jones set new NM State single-season records in 2011 with 82 hits and 61 runs scored. Primarily hitting in the second position of the batting order, Jones posted a .387 average at the plate while driving in 34 runs this season.

Jones was one of two Aggie players to earn CoSIDA All-District honors, as sophomore Teresa Conrad was a 2011 Second Team All-District honoree.

The four-year starter is just the ninth NM State softball player to earn Academic All-America honors and only the fourth to claim First Team accolades. The last Aggie softball player to attain the honor was former home run leader Christine Stephens who acquired first team recognition in 2003.

Jones is the first Aggie female to claim Academic All-America status since former NM State swimmer Carolyn Bohm earned third team honors in 2008. The last NM State female athlete to claim first team recognition was former volleyball player Jackie Choi in 2006.

The Academic All-America selection is the first of head coach Kathy Rodolph's tenure after seven All-District honorees - all in the past four seasons.

"Kandis Jones embodies the ideal student-athlete," said associate head coach Cat Heifner. "We are very proud of her accomplishments both on and off the diamond over her four seasons at New Mexico State."

The aspiring nursing student claims two All-District honors after receiving recognition in 2009 in addition to this season. Jones is also a three-time member of the Academic All-WAC Team. Last month, Jones was recognized by NM State as the 2011 female Outstanding Athletic Scholar.

Earlier in her senior campaign, Jones earned All-America honors from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

After four years in a Crimson and White uniform, Jones played in 222 career games and made 209 starts. This season, Jones set a pair of Aggie career records with 260 hits and 175 runs scored to go with new single-season records in both statistical categories.

Jones led the WAC this year in hits and runs scored. Additionally, she posted the WAC's longest hitting streak of the season spanning 12 games. Jones also led the league with 25 multiple hit games.

A vital member of the Aggies' record-setting 2011 squad, Jones is one of seven departing seniors that helped the New Mexico State program reach new heights this season.