Campus mourns star JMU softball player Lauren Bernett

James Madison Missouri Softball
Posted at 11:31 AM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 11:31:14-04

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- James Madison University student-athlete Lauren Bernett has died, the university announced on Tuesday.

"Our hearts are aching, hearing the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes," a message from JMU President Jonathan Alger read. "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."

Bernett's cause of death was not immediately released.

"You really never know what someone is going through," former JMU star pitcher Odicci Alexander posted on Twitter along with condolences for her teammate.

James Madison Missouri Softball
James Madison catcher Lauren Bernett (22) and pitcher Odicci Alexander (3) celebrate their 2-1 win over Missouri during a NCAA softball game on Friday, May 28, 2021 in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

The university established a memorial near Veterans Memorial Park for the 20-year-old sophomore from McDonald, Pennsylvania.

"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," the president's statement continued. " 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."

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