The college softball world has been hit with incredibly tragic news this morning. Lauren Bernett, a catcher for the James Madison softball team, has died. Her cause of death is currently unknown.
"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," said JMU president Jonathan Alger, via JMUsports.com. "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."
Bernett was a key member of the James Madison softball team that took a trip to the 2021 Women's College World Series last year.
Just yesterday she was named the conference Player of the Week for her performance in the Dukes' most recent series. She hit .778 at the plate with seven RBIs.
"The catcher Bernett went 7-for-9 in the series, hitting .788 with seven RBIs and four runs scored," the conference announced. "She recorded four of her seven hits in Sunday's game, including one home run. The sophomore earned a 1.444 slugging percentage and a .818 on-base percentage."
We send our heartfelt condolences to the James Madison softball team, the university and Bernett's family and friends.
What an awful tragedy.