Lauren Bernett

James Madison University Softball Player Lauren Bernett Dies

A cause of death has not been revealed

USA TODAY Sports

James Madison University softball player Lauren Bernett has died, the school announced on Tuesday. She was 20 years old.

A cause of death was not revealed.

"Our hearts are aching, hearing the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes," James Madison University president Jonathan Alger and athletic director Jeff Bourne said in a combined statement. "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."

Bernett, a sophomore catcher from McDonald, Pennsylvania, started 43 of 45 games for a James Madison team that reached the College World Series. She had just been named the Colonial Athletic Association's Player of the Week on Monday after a strong performance in a series against Drexel over the weekend.

Odicci Alexander, who was a member of last season's JMU team, posted a tribute to Bernett on Twitter.

The Dukes' home doubleheader against Longwood on Wednesday was canceled.

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