Josh Blessing

The weather is becoming harsher and so is Ball State University's schedule as it faces off against four Mid-American Conference teams in its five remaining games of the 2009 season.

After a long week of practice in the cold, the team is confident to come out strong and play well against conference opponent Central Michigan University.

"We just really tried throughout practice this week to stay focused and keep things simple," coach Annette Payne said. "We've been looking at how the game looked the first time we played them and trying to fix our mistakes."

Payne said the team is taking one game at a time and is focusing on nothing more than that.

"We have to keep playing the style we have been playing the last couple weekends and stay focused," Payne said.

Every year at the end of the season, play begins to become colder and colder, but the team has made adjustments to where it doesn't affect them anymore.

"The cold weather has become something that we are used to," Payne said. "This kind of weather is part of what we do and part of our culture. We know how to get warmed up, we are used to it."

This weekend is not just important from a conference stand point, it's especially important to seniors Brooke MacGillivary and Tiffany Shifflett, as this weekend brings an end to their careers of playing on Turf Field.

Throughout the season Payne has spoken to her two seniors about this being their last season on the team.

"We always talk about it. It's something that is really special for them and its bittersweet, if you will," Payne said. "They've worked so hard for four years and they've become the players that they have, and Sunday is their day to enjoy and embrace. They've meant so much to the program and they're ready."

Last weekend the team played well but now looks to get hot late in the season.

"We need to do well without a doubt," Payne said. "If we do what we are capable we will be fine, this is an important part of the year and we need to just relax and play how we know how to play."

The match against Central Michigan begins at 3 p.m. at Turf Field.