STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - It's a different kind of practice that the Mississippi State University softball team is accustomed to.
They volunteered time away from the field to help the Habitat for Humanity build a home for a Starkville family.
Like many, Jessica Offutt returned to Starkville early to lend a helping hand.
"I actually pulled in here [work site] 30 minutes before we came out here," Offett said.
While others like new freshman Amanda Ivy didn't know what to expect.
"This is my first time to spend time with the team," Ivy said. "I had no idea we would build a house on the first day together."
Yet that's exactly what MSU softball head coach Van Stuedeman had in store for the ladies as they returned to Starkville for the new year.
"We ask so much of our community to support us," Stuedeman said. "We want to be out here cheering for our community too."
The overall project is operated by Habitat for Humanity, but this particular house is unique compared to others.
It's the "Maroon Edition," which means the volunteers building the house are connected to MSU in some way, such as students, faculty, staff, campus organizations, alumni, etc.
The Kappa Sigma Fraternity at MSU donated $20,000, and Cadence Bank of Starkville matched those fund, totaling more than half of what it cost to build the entire house.
"Starkville loves Mississippi State," said Habitat for Humanity Director Joel Downey. "It's very important that Mississippi State show that love back to the community."
That's exactly why Coach Studeman had the team take time from the field.
"It teaches how to give back to your community, how to work together and how to communicate," she said.
At the end of the day, the team agreed.
"It builds a lot of character in everybody, and it teaches us how to do things off the softball field and how to grow and how to be selfless," said Alison Owen, senior.
"Anytime you can help somebody else and make somebody's day, that's what we go for," Offutt said.
Habitat for Humanity said the expected completion date for the house is in Nov.
Next year, the group plans to build three more homes in the town of Starkville.