HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison University announced Tuesday that one of their own has passed away.
Lauren Bernett was a JMU softball player known for being a standout in the program.
The 20-year-old star was just named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week on Monday before her passing. This comes after the weekend series where she went 7 for 9 with seven RBIs, four runs scored and a home run.
The sophomore catcher was a big part of the JMU run deep into the 2021 Women’s College World Series.
JMU President Jonathan Alger and JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne issued a joint statement to the campus community, saying, in part:
Dear JMU community,
Our hearts are aching, hearing the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes. Lauren Bernett was a high-achieving member of our softball team and a great ambassador of JMU and our athletics program. She was a key member of our 2021 Women's College World Series team as a freshman catcher last year.
College athletics is great because of the people with whom we get to interact every day. We are a tight family. We are grateful that Lauren has been part of our JMU Athletics community and will always consider her to be a Duke. We will miss her dearly.
Our thoughts are with her family; her coaches, teammates and friends; the rest of our department staff and student-athletes; and the entire JMU community. JMU Nation is a close community, and we grieve together.
The statement also included counseling resources, which you can find here.
Officials have not disclosed a cause of death or any additional details.
The Dukes canceled their doubleheader against Longwood scheduled for Wednesday in light of the news.