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Death of JMU softball player ruled a suicide

A sign for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on the Camden side of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Credit: Joe Lamberti/Courier Post

The death of a 20-year-old James Madison University softball player earlier this week has been ruled a suicide, USA Today reported Thursday.

The school, located in Harrisonburg, Va., announced the passing of sophomore catcher Lauren Bernett on Tuesday. The Western Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Virginia determined the cause of death.

On Monday, Bernett was named the softball Player of the Week in the Colonial Athletic Conference after batting .788 (7-for-9) with seven RBIs and four runs during a three-game weekend sweep of Drexel.

On April 16, she tied a single-game JMU record with seven RBIs in a win against College of Charleston.

In 2021, she helped the Dukes reach the Women’s College World Series for the first time. They made headlines there with a 4-3 win against No. 1-ranked Oklahoma in their opening game.

JMU canceled a doubleheader against Longwood on Wednesday. It also canceled its three-game series versus Delaware this weekend.

The university is offering grief counseling and other mental health resources for the student body. The phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

–Field Level Media