James Madison has announced that the school is canceling the remainder of its softball season in the wake of the death of catcher Lauren Bernett, who died on April 25. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Western District of Virginia, Bernett's death was ruled a suicide last month.
The Dukes canceled its remaining five games this week against Elon and Virginia. The program had previously canceled five games last week due to Bernett's death.
James Madison will finish the season with a 21-21 record and a 10-5 record in CAA play. Prior to canceling games, the Dukes had won five consecutive games.
"This was an extremely difficult decision and one that was not made lightly," James Madison 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. 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."
Bernett had been named the CAA Player of the Week one day before the announcement of her death. The sophomore catcher went 7-for-9 with a home run, seven RBIs, and scored four runs in a three-game series sweep against Drexel last month.
Bernett helped James Madison reach the Women's College World Series last season.