Ryan Dungey is a champion, again.

Dungey twice collided with Eli Tomac, including during a tense final lap, but still finished high enough Saturday to win his fourth Monster Energy AMA Supercross season title and third in a row.

Dungey finished fourth, two spots behind Tomac — his closest competitor for the championship — and behind Jason Anderson, who won the event in Las Vegas. Dungey, a Red Bull KTM factory rider from Belle Plaine, entered with a nine-point edge over Tomac in the standings.

"That was a season of never give up. It was tough from the get-go, but we did it," said Dungey, who was forced to wrap up the title in Las Vegas for the first time in his career. "We didn't win the most races [this season], but the points are what matter at the end. We fought hard, tooth and nail. This was the most challenging and the hardest season of my entire career."

Dungey is the fifth rider to win three straight 450SX titles. He's the fourth rider to win four championships, joining Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath and Ryan Villopoto.

U softball path is set

The top-seeded Gophers will open play in the Big Ten softball tournament at noon Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich., against the winner of Thursday's first-round meeting between Northwestern and Purdue.

The Gophers (51-3, 22-1 Big Ten), top-seeded in the tournament for the first time since 1991 and riding a 22-game winning streak, received a bye into the quarterfinals, as did No. 2 seed Michigan, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Illinois.

The Illini will face the Nebraska-Penn State winner, Michigan will play the Michigan State-Indiana winner and Ohio State will take on the Iowa-Wisconsin winner in Friday's final quarterfinal.

Big Ten semifinal games will be at noon and 2:30 Saturday, with the championship game to follow.

Division II softball

Northern Sun champion Minnesota State Mankato (54-6) will host conference rival and at-large entry Augustana (38-14) in the first round of a double-elimination NCAA softball regional that begins Friday.

Winona State (49-11), the No. 4 seed as an at-large team in a regional in Searcy, Ark., will play Southern Arkansas in the first round.

Recognition for cycle

Gophers third baseman Micah Coffey, who hit for the cycle in a victory Saturday over Penn State, was chosen the Big Ten baseball player of the week for the first time.

Coffey batted .550 over the week with nine runs, 11 hits, 10 RBI and a home run.

Pitcher Brett Schulze, who allowed only one run and four hits in a victory over the Nittany Lions, was freshman of the week.


• Gophers golfer Emie Peronnin, an at-large entry in an NCAA women's regional, shot an 11-over-par 83 Monday in her opening round in Columbus, Ohio. Marta Martin Garcia of Purdue leads at 2-under 70, the only golfer to break par.

• The Northern Sun baseball tournament begins Wednesday in St. Cloud, with Minnesota State Mankato seeded No. 1, Augustana second, St. Cloud State third and Wayne State fourth.

•Donald Constable shot a 66 for medalist honors at a local qualifier for the U.S. Open at Midland Hills. Also advancing were Sam Matthew (68), Mitch Tucker (71) and Will Holmgren and Jeff Kringen, both in a playoff for the final two spots.