James Madison University is canceling the rest of its softball season in the wake of the death of star player Lauren Bernett.

The school announced that Bernett, 20, who was a sophomore catcher and power hitter for the team, had died last Tuesday.

“Our hearts are aching, hearing the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes,” university president Jonathan Alger and athletic director Jeff Bourne said in a statement. “Lauren Bernett was a high-achieving member of our softball team and a great ambassador of JMU and our athletics program.”

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s office in Virginia has said the death is an apparent suicide.

JMU coach Loren LaPorte announced the decision to cancel the season on Monday.

“This was an extremely difficult decision and one that was not made lightly,” JMU coach Loren LaPorte said in a news release. “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.”

LaPorte added that the team and school would be sure to properly honor the team’s seniors whose collegiate careers came to an abrupt end.

“We will make sure that they are honored for the commitment and dedication they have made as student-athletes.”

The team had previously already canceled five games.

Bernett’s death came roughly a month after Stanford soccer captain Katie Meyer died by suicide months before graduation.

With News Wire Services

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