Death of Lauren Bernett, James Madison softball player, ruled suicide

James Madison University softball player Lauren Bernett died by suicide, the Western Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Virginia said Thursday.

Bernette was 20.

The Dukes’ doubleheader on Wednesday against Longwood was canceled and the school sent out messages offering support for mental health.

Bernett, a sophomore catcher from McDonald, Pennsylvania, was a key contributor for James Madison last season on its way to a surprise showing in the 2021 Women’s College World Series. The Dukes won two games in Oklahoma City before losing back-to-back games to the eventual champion Oklahoma in the semifinals.

Earlier this week, Bernett was named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week as the Dukes swept a three-game set from Drexel. She hit .778 with seven RBI in the series.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night. Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

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