Taylor Callahan hit a grand slam in the opener, but it was not enough for Valparaiso as the Crusaders dropped a doubleheader 9-8 and 8-0 to Northern Illinois on Tuesday afternoon in DeKalb, Ill.
Callahan helped Valpo rally from a 7-1 deficit after four innings in the opener as the Crusaders tied the game at eight before the Huskies scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
Northern Illinois plated one run in the opening inning and added two more in each of the next three innings. Megan Carroll doubled home Mallory Gill in the top of the third for Valpo's first run.
Trailing by six, the Crusaders plated five in the fifth. Allison Whitesell had a pinch-hit single to score Shannon Robinson with the bases loaded to start the rally. Callahan then hit her blast to left, her second homerun of the season.
Valpo took an 8-7 lead in the sixth as Robinson singled home Alicia Ashburn and Carroll plated Robinson with her second double of the game. Northern Illinois responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game and Kathy Dearborn led off the bottom of the seventh with a game-winning homerun.
Carroll, Callahan, and Robinson had two hits each for the Crusaders in the opener while Tony Del Toro and Elyse Jamrozy each drove home three runs for the Huskies.
Del Toro went 2-for-3 with four RBIs in the nightcap as the Huskies completed the doubleheader sweep. Northern Illinois (18-11) scored twice in both the second and the third and added three in the sixth for the win.
Valpo (1-25) was scheduled to play at home on Wednesday against South Dakota State, but the games have been cancelled due to the threat of storms and the Jackrabbits needing to make travel plans. The Crusaders will now return to action on Friday evening as Valpo heads to Kansas City, Mo. for a 5 p.m. doubleheader against UMKC.