Alissa Birkhimer struck out the first six batters she faced and finished with 14 strikeouts to lead the Lakewood High School softball team to a 2-0 victory over Piketon in a Division III regional semifinal Friday at Lancaster.

Birkhimer, an Akron signee, also hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning for the game's only runs.

"I think there's still some things she wants to accomplish before graduating," coach Criss Nadolson said during last week's district tournament as the Lancers won a seventh title in eight years, and their third with her in the lineup.

The Lancers improved to 27-4 while advancing to play either Adena or Wheelersburg in the regional final at noon Saturday, also at Lancaster. Lakewood defeated Wheelersburg 8-5 in last year's regional final en route to winning the state championship.

Birkhimer faced 24 batters -- three over the minimum -- and the only hit she allowed came on a bunt single in the third inning. She retired the side in order five times and also struck out the side in the fourth. She walked one batter and hit another in the seventh inning with one out but escaped the jam with consecutive groundouts.

Birkhimer, a two-time ThisWeek Player of the Year, pushed her pitching record to 19-2 this season with 215 strikeouts. She entered Friday's game with an 0.29 ERA.

"She's as good right now as she's ever been," Nadolson said.

Piketon finished 17-5.