Arizona State's annual Kajikawa Classic, which begins tonight, brings together several of the nation's highest-rated teams in the preseason polls (click here for schedule). In addition to the No. 4-ranked host Sun Devils, the field includes No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Cal, and No. 5/6 Oregon, which was featured in an ESPN.com column yesterday. Links to the two major polls, ESPN/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA, are available in the right-hand column of this page.
No. 1 Alabama opens its season Friday in a somewhat unusual venue. The UNI-Dome Classic, played on the turf inside Northern Iowa's indoor football stadium, mainly draws other midwestern schools, who can't be expected to play games outdoors in early February. This year, however, the Crimson Tide will be joining the gathering. (Update: Here's an ESPN.com column on Alabama.)