Preseason for the Gardiner Area High School softball team can be summed up in three words.

“Gym, gym, gym,” Gardiner coach Don Brochu said.

Just a week ago, Brochu and other central Maine coaches were optimistic their home fields would be ready for the start of the regular season at the very least, perhaps even for preseason scrimmages. There was no waiting for the snow to melt in March like in previous years, and the frost is already out in most locations.

But a combination of wet weather and cold temperatures have kept teams inside for most of the preseason. Most outdoor activities have been limited to parking lots.

“It’s just mushy,” Brochu said of Gardiner’s softball field. “You don’t want to get on it too soon and tear it up.”

Heavy rains on Thursday with more expected Friday, and even more in the long-range forecast, may take care of that. The Tigers have home scrimmages scheduled for next Tuesday and Thursday, but those could be in peril if the skies don’t clear up, Brochu said.

“It’s tough because we’ve got a young team and it’s important getting the younger kids out and used to the bigger field and the faster varsity pace,” he said. “But it doesn’t want to let up, from cold to rain and cold again.”

Brochu is glad that he has to worry about getting the all-dirt softball infield field ready as opposed to a grassier baseball field. Like Brochu, Winthrop baseball coach Marc Fortin is eager to get his young team on an actual field rather than the simulated indoor one in the gym.

“We’ve got an inexperienced crew. We’d like to get these preseason games in and it’s not happening,” he said.

Cony baseball coach Don Brochu said the outfield at Morton Field appeared to by dry enough to play on two weeks ago, but the infield still needs work because Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind.

“The infield, we haven’t had a chance to turn it over because it’s warm then it’s cold then it’s warm then it’s cold,” he said.

At Winslow High School, this week’s cold spell took a toll on Nivison Diamond.

“Until this cold, it was actually in pretty good shape,” Winslow baseball coach Aaron Wolfe said. “Now the infield is all mud and the outfield is very wet. We have our first (exhibition game) coming up and I don’t think we’ll be able to get it in.”

Erskine Academy is one of the fortunate few that has been able to play on its diamond. It hosted a short scrimmage with Cony on Wednesday before the snow arrived.

Erskine’s field conditions are so notorious for being ready for play early that the Eagles won’t have to go on the road during the preseason. Everyone who scheduled a game with them agreed to go to South China.

“There’s no better field as far as drainage goes,” Erskine coach Lars Jonassen said.

Before Thursday’s rain, Nokomis baseball coach Jared Foster was confident his team would be able to host an exhibition doubleheader against Houlton this weekend.

“We’ve been on it twice, and we’ll be on it again. We’ll be OK if the rain holds off,” Foster said.

A few schools in the Waterville area have been able to practice on the new artificial turf field at Colby College. The Waterville baseball team held a workout on the field earlier this week, and Lawrence has also used the facility.

“(Colby) has been very nice about letting people use it,” Waterville baseball coach Dennis Martin said.

Added Lawrence baseball coach Rusty Mercier: “We’ve been up to Colby a few times. We’ve been outside more this year than last year.”

Staff Writer Travis Lazarczyk contributed to this report.