Star college softball player from McDonald dead at 20

SOUTH FAYETTE, Pa. — Softball player for James Madison University (JMU) and South Fayette standout Lauren Bernett has died.

University President Jonathan Alger said in a statement on Tuesday that Bernett had died the previous day. She was a sophomore biology major and a high-achieving member of the university’s softball team.

The McDonald, Pennsylvania native was a four-year letter winner at South Fayette High School and graduated in 2020.

During her time at JMU, Bernett played as a catcher and competed in the 2021 College World Series. As a freshman, she was a member of the VaSID All-State Second Team and was named Rookie of the Week after recording four hits, including two doubles, during the team’s opening weekend. She recorded a season high of 18 putouts in a game against Liberty. Outside of the softball field, Bernett earned Dean’s List during the fall semester of 2020.

Bernett was also named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week on Monday, less than 24 hours before her death.

“Our condolences and deepest sympathies are with her family, friends, coaches and fellow members of the student-athlete community,” said Alger.

Alger also provided links to the university’s counseling center and other resources for grieving students and community members in the statement. Those can be found here: https://www.jmu.edu/news/2022/04/26-student-death.shtml.