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JMU softball cancels remainder of 2022 season schedule

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In case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

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The JMU softball program announced Monday that it has canceled the remainder of its games for the 2022 season in the wake of the death of sophomore catcher Lauren Bernett.

Bernett, 20, died on April 25. The death has been ruled a suicide.

“This was an extremely difficult decision, and one that was not made lightly,” JMU Head Coach Loren LaPorte said. “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, a catcher, had just been named the CAA Player of the Week the day of her passing after a huge weekend in a three-game sweep of Drexel, in which she had recorded seven hits in nine at-bats, including four hits and a homer on Sunday.

She was hitting .336, the third-best mark on the team this season, with nine homers and 33 RBIs for the Dukes, and was a key player in the Dukes’ run to the College World Series last season, when JMU softball was one of the big sports stories of the summer, upsetting top-ranked Oklahoma in the CWS opener.

Bernett, a McDonald, Penn. native, is survived by her parents, two brothers and two sisters.

The cancellations include a contest on Tuesday against Virginia and a three-game league series this coming weekend against Elon. Five games were previously called off last week, including a Wednesday doubleheader against Longwood and a weekend series with Delaware.

JMU concludes its season at 21-21 overall and 10-5 in conference play. The Dukes won their final five games of the season.

Story by Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].