Advertisement

James Madison softball player Lauren Bernett died by apparent suicide, sheriff says

James Madison University catcher Lauren Bernett is shown during the 2022 season. Photo courtesy of JMU Athletics
James Madison University catcher Lauren Bernett is shown during the 2022 season. Photo courtesy of JMU Athletics

April 27 (UPI) -- James Madison softball catcher Lauren Bernett, who helped lead the university to a historic run to the Women's College World Series, died by apparent suicide, authorities said Wednesday. She was 20 years old.

"We are in the process of conducting a death investigation into the incident and it is currently classified as an apparent suicide," Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said Wednesday.

Advertisement

"The official report from the Medical Examiner's Office is pending, and out of respect for her family and friends, there is no other information to release at this time," Hutcheson said.

The sheriff's office said the Bernett died Monday, the same day she was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week.

Bernett tied the single-game record with seven RBIs in James Madison's recent 8-2 win over the College of Charleston. The win helped to spark the team's current five-game winning streak.

JMU's next five scheduled games, two against Longwood on Wednesday and three more this weekend against Delaware, have been canceled, James Madison officials announced.

Bernett's death was announced Tuesday by university President Jonathan Alger.

"Our hearts are aching, hearing the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes," Alger said in a statement. "Lauren Bernett was a high-achieving member of our softball team and a great ambassador of JMU and our athletics program."

Advertisement

Bernett, who was a sophomore, is survived by her mother and father, two sisters, and two brothers. The biology major, who went to South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pa., made the dean's list last fall.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Latest Headlines