I would have to agree on one thing said earlier: getting a degree and playing D1 aren't mutually exclusive. I too had the dream of playing D1 softball and getting a degree, knowing full well my education was more important. Yes, I gave up on my dream of playing at Stanford, because of the extra long hours, mandatory tutoring, and lots of games on the road. But, I did get the chance to graduate from a great engineering school and still make 3 appearances in D1 regionals. It is quite possible to have both.
Yes, it was hard work, but trying to balance softball, school, and a social life was just as hard before college. There are lots of competitive softball schools out there that value education very highly. The coaches should be very up front about this during the recruiting process, at least that's what I found to be true 90% of the time. My college softball experience was no different then I had expected or wanted. I still got to play a competitive game while making life long friends and getting the degree I always wanted. Isn't that what college is all about? The most important thing to do before heading down that path is for the player to know what kind of balance they are looking for between softball, school, and social life. If they are honest with themselves and their potential coach (as in before the signing), it usually ends up being the time of their life.