My $.02 cents for what it is worth. My daughter currently plays for one of the schools you referenced in your post. She is on schedule to graduate in 4 years and plans on going to graduate school after she graduates. Even with practice, games, school and workouts, she has managed to have a nice social life while at school. While her circle of friends are mostly her teammates and athletes who participate in sports other than softball, she still has many friends that she has made from the general student population. She is not one who lives, breathes and sleeps softball 24/7 but has been fortunate to have garnered some post season awards. She will tell anyone who asks about the demands of being a student-athlete that the number one skill that a student-athlete needs to master is time management. She and her teammates engage with their academic counselor constantly about their classes and tests. I don't believe any girl on the team has a major that is one that would be considered soft or easy. She is fortunate in that the school provides her and her teammates with the resources to help them be successful. I have had very limited dealings with the coaching staff but have found them to be very affable on the occasions that I have spoken with them. I would ask Slugger if his daughter is still playing for the head coach who originally recruited his daughter. Maybe that could be a reason for him being somewhat jaded with college softball. I am not naïve to believe that there are not coaches out there (including travel and high school) who are looking out for No. 1 and don't care who they use or who they lie to. In regards to my daughter's decision, I am happy for her that things have worked out.IDK, when I was in college at a mid-major D1, I had friends who were athletes (soccer/field hockey; we didn't have softball) and they had plenty of time for a decent social life. My school is a very high-academic liberal arts school in the SE (you might be familiar with one of our more well-known alumni who is a Golden State Warrior) and there are no underwater basket-weaving degrees available for athletes (usually they majored in Anthro/Soc or Criminal Justice). Maybe at Oklahoma or Alabama do the athletes have time for nothing but softball, but I do think it's possible to have a nice balance depending upon the school, even in D1.