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JMU cancels softball season following star student Lauren Bernett's death

Posted at 9:34 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 09:34:54-04

HARRISONBURG, Va. — The James Madison softball team has played the last game of its season. The team canceled its final games of the season following the sudden death of star sophomore catcher Lauren Bernett. Bernett, 20, was found deceased on campus on Monday, April 25. The preliminary report indicated she died by suicide.

“This was an extremely difficult decision and one that was not made lightly,” JMU Head Softball Coach Loren LaPorte said. “We are so grateful for the support of our fans all season and for the love from the softball community during the past week. We will use this time to continue healing and to honor Lauren’s memory while finishing the academic semester strong. Most importantly, we’re thinking about our graduating seniors whose careers have come to an abrupt conclusion. We will make sure that they are honored for the commitment and dedication they have made as student-athletes at James Madison University.”

The team canceled five games last week before officially canceling the remaining four games.

Bernett had been named the Colonial Athletic Association player of the week prior to her death.

Bernett's death comes as the University of Wisconsin-Madison mourns the loss of a cross-country star who died by suicide in April. Stanford is also grieving the loss of a soccer star who died by suicide in March.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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