Lauren Bernett, James Madison University softball player, has died at the age of 20, the school announced in a statement on Tuesday. Her cause of death was not immediately known.
“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,” JMU president Jonathan Alger and athletic director Jeff Bourne said in a combined statement.
“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.”
Who was Lauren Bernett?
Lauren Bernett was a 20-year-old sophomore. The Pennsylvania native was named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week on Monday after a three-game weekend series in which she went 7-for-9 with seven RBIs, four runs scored, and a home run.
Last year, she helped the Dukes reach the Women’s College World Series for the first time.
Following her death, a statement on JMU Athletics’ Twitter handle said, “The JMU family is devastated to have lost one of our own. All our love and support are with Lauren’s family, her @JMUSoftball community and all those who knew her.”
Odicci Alexander, star pitcher of JMU’s Women’s College World Series run in 2021, paid tribute to Bernett by writing “Love you LB” on Twitter.
JMU softball team’s doubleheader against Longwood University, which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been canceled and a new date is yet to be announced.