James Madison softball player Lauren Bernett has died, the school announced Tuesday.

She was 20 years old. No cause of death has been released.

Bernett, a sophomore, had been the program’s starting catcher in each of the past two seasons.

She helped guide the Dukes to the College World Series in 2021.

“Our hearts are aching, hearing the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes,”

James Madison president Jonathan Alger wrote in a statement.

“Lauren Bernett was a high-achieving member of our softball team and a great ambassador of JMU and our athletics program

College athletics is great because of the people with whom we get to interact every day.

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.”
Bernett was a native of McDonald, Pa., and majored in biology with a minor in pre-veterinary medicine.

Lauren Bernett Dies