The cause of her death or any other details were not announced.
A joint statement released by JMU President Jonathan Alger and Athletics Director Geoff Bourne said: “Our hearts are heartbroken, when we hear the news of the loss of one of our student-athletes. Lauren Burnett has been a distinguished member of the softball team. And a great ambassador for JMU and our athletics program. She has been a key member of the softball team. 2021 Women’s College World Championships as a freshman catcher last year.”
Tuesday’s statement included contact information for school resources, including a phone number for a school crisis center and a web link for a mental health and wellness provider.
Burnett was named Player of the Week Monday by the Colonial Athletic Association.
She went seven-for-nine in a three-game sweep of the weekend on Drexel University—scoring a .788 with a home run, seven RBIs and four runs.
The double header scheduled for Wednesday against Longwood University has been cancelled. The athletics department tweeted that it has erected a flower drop and memorial outside the entrance to the softball team’s Veterans Memorial Park.
According to her resume at JMU, Burnett was a member of the National Honor Society and planned to major in biology with a minor vet.
Last season, Burnett and her teammates made national headlines with the first-ever unexpected race of the Dukes to the National Semifinals for the Women’s College World Series. JMU finished its best season ever with a 41-4 record.
Odicci Alexander, Burnett’s former JMU’s World Series star, tweeted on Wednesday: “Love you LB” and “You really never know what someone’s going through.”