On Tuesday, the sports world learned that Lauren Bernett, a catcher for the James Madison softball team, passed away. The following day, her death was classified as an apparent suicide.
Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson announced on Wednesday that an investigation into Bernett's death is ongoing.
"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, via The Associated Press.
Bernett was named the the CAA Player of the Week earlier this week, batting .778 with seven RBIs in a three-game stretch.
The James Madison softball team is understandably heartbroken by this development.
“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.”
Our thoughts are with the James Madison softball team, as well as Bernett’s family and friends.