Italy were among eight teams to progress to the next round ©Grega Valancic/Softball Europe

Hosts Italy remain on course for a successful defence of their Women's Softball European Championship as they won their opening match in the last eight stage of the event in Bollate.

After the majority of the afternoon and evening matches were washed out yesterday, the players were greeted with a packed schedule today.

It saw the completion of the first stage and the start of the second round robin phase, where the eight remaining teams have been split into Pools E and F.

Italy, Britain, Greece and Sweden make up Pool E, while Pool F features the Czech Republic, Russia, Spain and The Netherlands.

Britain, Italy, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic all qualified with 100 per cent records as they each won all five of their matches in the first round.

Italy began their Pool E campaign with a narrow 2-0 win over Greece in a low-scoring affair.

Britain currently occupy top spot in the group after they continued their impressive form with a 13-0 thrashing of Sweden.

In Pool F, the Czech Republic enjoyed a dominant 7-0 win over Spain and The Netherlands beat Russia 8-1.

The second phase of the tournament in Bollate is due to conclude tomorrow as each nation will play the two teams in their group that they did not come up against today.

Proceedings will then go to another round robin stage as the top three teams from both pools will play against each other.

The top four countries from this will then head into the medal rounds to determine the podium places.