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James Madison Cancels Remainder of Season After Lauren Bernett’s Death

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

James Madison announced Monday the remainder of its softball season will be canceled after the death of catcher Lauren Bernett.

Bernett died by suicide April 26, per the Western Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Virginia. She was 20.

“This was an extremely difficult decision and one that was not made lightly,” James Madison softball coach Loren LaPorte said in a statement. “We are so grateful for the support of our fans all season and for the love from the softball community during the past week.

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“We will use this time to continue healing and 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.”

Bernett was a sophomore catcher for James Madison. She played a critical role in the program’s College World Series run in 2021.