If the up and coming generations are not participating in sports (baseball) then how can one expect that softball will grow. I do believe that the Women's game is healthier than it has ever been due to the popularity and growth of fast pitch, but that is the exception.
THe game is to grounded in its history and afraid of change. If that continues nothing will change. It needs to evolve...figure out a way to attract people to play....make it less "boring" (I don't think softball is boring, faster game than baseball, but perceptually)
The newer generations are happy getting a participation trophy and not challenging themselves competitively so the conference will be what it is....