An 8th grade pitcher in my area was "verballed" to a D1 school last year. So much can and will happen between 8th and 12th grade, it just doesn't make any sense to me.
With the rare exception, the athletic scholarship thing is a sucker's bet. Even at my DDs HS, which has a good program at the top tier of HS softball, not many players get offers from schools they would have considered (or even heard of) had softball not been in the picture.
Some (or as often their parents) are desperate to play somewhere to validate the ridiculous amounts spent on travel and showcase tournaments. I saw this happen with a close friend whose daughter played soccer. A very good HS and club player, she lasted one year at a D3 school on the other side of the country. Why did she go there? It was the ONLY school that showed interest. A couple poor decisions later, and they had spent over $200K for an elementary education degree.
With the partial that most softball scholarship players get, the ROI is horrible. There are so many other more predictable pathways that will help cover college cost, I'm baffled why so many go all-in on sports. BTW...I've recently seen some very good "all-in" type players hobbled by joint injuries that suggest overuse.