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James Madison cancels rest of softball season after player's death

James Madison Missouri Softball
Posted at 9:48 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 12:50:45-04

Officials at James Madison University said it had canceled the remainder of its softball season following the sudden death of one of its players last week.

On Monday, the softball team announced that they would use this time to mourn the passing of sophomore catcher Lauren Bernett, who died on April 25.

"This was an extremely difficult decision and one that was not made lightly," head coach Loren LaPorte said in a press release. "We are so grateful for the support of our fans all season and for the love from the softball community during the past week. We will use this time to continue healing and to 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."

The team previously canceled five games last week before announcing the cancelation of its four remaining games.

Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said last week that the death of Bernett has been classified as an apparent suicide.

A day before her death was announced, the Pennsylvania native was named the Colonial Athletic Association player of the week.

News of Bernett's passing comes as the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford grieve the recent death of athletes who both died by suicide.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.