CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Tragic news out of James Madison University, as one of their own passed away Tuesday.
Softball sophomore catcher Lauren Bernett died at just 20 years old.
The university released a statement, which included contact information for counseling centers and crisis lines.
The softball community as a whole has been hit hard by this tragedy, and it sheds light on the importance of mental health, once again.
Marshall senior outfielder Grace Chelemen was especially impacted, and hopes she can be a voice for others struggling too.
“It sat different with me too because I am good friends with another girl on the JMU softball team who is really good friends with Lauren,” said Chelemen. “So I didn’t know Lauren personally, but I’m feeling for her through my friend, and just the softball community in general.
It definitely hit a nerve in my heart, because I understand what [she] was feeling. Our sport is all mental, which I think people completely forget about as well. It is so mental and you have to be mentally tough because our sport is 70-80% failure. I mean it’s one against nine. Times get really, really tough, especially in season and stuff. But yeah it definitely hit a nerve with me.”
Chelemen went on to say how important it is to have people around you that you can lean on, and feel comfortable being vulnerable with. So you can get help when/if you need it.
You can watch our full, unedited, interview above.