Federico Pizzolini has been named as the new head coach of the Italian women’s softball team, following the death of Enrico Obletter last month.
Obletter passed away at the age of 61 after contracting COVID-19.
The Australian had been head coach of Italy's women's softball team since 2007, and was due to lead the side at this year's Olympics.
Obletter led Italy to the European title in 2019, and the Azzurri then won all six matches at the Europe-Africa qualifier to secure a place at Toyko 2020.
Obletter had previously served as Italy's pitching coach at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, where Italy placed fifth.
The Italian Baseball and Softball Federation has confirmed Pizzolini will serve as head coach of the Italian team.
The organisation said Pizzolini was the natural choice having worked as an assistant to Obletter at several major events.
Julio La Rosa and Giovanna Palermi will also remain on the coaching staff.
Pizzolini had led multiple teams in Italy before joining the coaching staff of the national team.
Federico Pizzolini è il nuovo manager di #ItaliaSoftball 🇮🇹— FIBS (@FIBSpress) March 4, 2021
Sulla strada tracciata da Enrico #Obletter, verso i prossimi impegni
I dettagli➡ https://t.co/xTDoRVHTL0@ItaliaTeam_it @Coninews pic.twitter.com/CFtIxINqDI
The Italian Baseball and Softball Confederation cited how Pizzolini was part of the staff on numerous youth national teams and the men’s national team before joining Obletter’s working group at the senior women’s national squad.
He assisted Obletter at the 2018 Women’s Softball World Championship, where Italy finished seventh, as well as the Europe-Africa Olympic qualifier.
The Italian Olympic softball team will hold a training camp on March 21, which will be led by Pizzolini for the first time.
Italy are one of six teams to have qualified for Tokyo 2020, where softball is on the Olympic programme for the first time since Beijing 2008.
Hosts Japan - who won the gold medal that year - world champions the United States, Australia, Mexico and Canada are also due to compete.