Each players journey to finding a university is unique based on high school academic performance, career ambitions, and financial aid/grants/loans. The simpliest way to get attention from the college coaches from the colleges you are most interested in is to have an active & prepared softball profile. Leveraging the use of social media on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter has changed the recruiting process because it's given coaches visability to the way the player represents herself to the public.
It is not uncommon for D1 schools to start recruiting pitchers and catchers as early as 8th grade. For the best probablity of receiving a response from college coaches you have contacted, review their roster page on the college's athletic site to make sure they are in need of a player at your position for your years incoming class. College coaches are also seeking players who are physically fit, athletically built, and play multiple sports for game instincts.
In addition over the past decade the explosion of club softball has altered recruiting. Colleges now recruit through trusted recommendations from elite travel ball coaches, social media recruiting videos, showcase tournaments, and on campus clinics throughout the year. The relevance of high school ball in the recruiting process has drastically been reduced over the last decade, yet having high school accolades supports your softball resume. The height of the college softball recruiting happens during the summer after the conclusion of the college softball season.