For the third time in two seasons, Claremore has surprised the state’s No. 1 high school girls fast-pitch softball team.

And this time, it was the defending state champion.

On Monday, the Lady Zebras rallied with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to drop Coweta, 4-3.

It raised the 10th-ranked Lady Zebras’ record to 4-2 in the first week of the season.

“We can get up for the Goliaths of the world,” Claremore coach Tony Winefield said following the win at home. “But sometimes we don’t do so well with some of the Davids.”

A year ago, Winefield’s Lady Zebras stunned Coweta at this same juncture, early in the regular-season schedule. Later, after Lawton MacArthur had ascended the top rung, the Lady Zebras pulled off another surprise with a win in the Catoosa festival.

The Lady Zebras used the combination of pitching and speed to earn Monday’s victory in the Metro Lakes Conference opener.

Sophomore transfer Brittany Scott scattered five hits and collected her second victory.

After Allyson Pogue singled in the bottom of the seventh, pinch runner D.J. Simpson stole second and scored on a pair of wild pitches.

Coweta took a 2-0 lead in the fourth before the Lady Zebras scored once in the fourth and twice in the fifth.

Taking a 3-2 into the seventh, Claremore gave up the tying run and put any celebration on hold, albeit temporarily, in the top of the inning.

The Lady Zebras shook off that bit of disappointment, thanks to the hitting of Pogue and the speed of Simpson.

“It just re-enforces the idea to our kids — and sometimes we have to re-enforce the idea because we’re kind of young — that on any given night, we can go out and beat somebody,” Winefield said.

“And, it truly is never over till it’s over.”

Winefield’s youthful lineup could be responsible for the Lady Zebras’ No. 10 ranking in Class 5A. They were a state tournament team a year ago, and they do have the burgeoning reputation for coming up big in big games.

“Our two strengths are the strengths I think that teams need to go as far as they can go, and that’s pitching and defense,” he said.

“Our pitching is a real key for us. We’re pretty solid there.

“All of our pitchers are the same right now. We have four kids that can throw a varsity game. They can all change speeds; they call throw a good fastball — just a real good mix.”

Scott moved in to Claremore this summer after playing as a freshman at Collinsville.

“She’s done a real good job,” Winefield said. “She throws the ball hard, has a good variety of pitches, and she’s pretty good at finding her spots.”

She found herself in a spot Monday, facing the defending state champion.

She responded with a blue-ribbon effort.

“Coweta being No. 1 and being in our conference gives our kids a lof of motivation,” Winefield says.

“To get it done at the beginning of the year is good, now we’d like to get it done at the end of the year, too,” he said.